There is a new cicada keychain toy from Japan. It comes in five colors, and produces its sound using a wind up mechanism. Buy it here.
July 10, 2014
April 15, 2014
Southern Prohibition Brewing is offering Cicada themed (but not flavored) beer this year. Just in time for Brood XXII.
Their site says cicadas are their favorite “invasive species”, but cicadas are not an invasive species, however it can feel like an invasion when periodical cicadas arrive.
BTW, here’s the first news article about Brood XXII I’ve found. It’s from the LSU AgCenter and features Christopher Carlton, LSU AgCenter entomologist and director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.
No signs of Brood XXII cicadas on social media yet.
January 12, 2014
A few weeks ago someone asked me what species of cicada the Cicada 3301 logo represented. At the time I did not know what Cicada 3301 was. Later on I learned that Cicada 3301 is some kind of international organization that uses puzzles to recruit people who are really good at figuring out puzzles … or something like that. This sounds very interesting, and it might be something I would be into if I had more free time.
Here is the 3301 logo (which is presumably copyrighted by the Cicada 3301 organization):
The logo appears to be a photo of a cicada processed with an emboss filter. (I’ve seen other versions of the logo, which look like the embossed logo run through an ASCII filter that makes it look like the green alphanums on a black background like the Matrix or the Homebrew setting for Terminal windows on the Mac.)
The interesting thing about the 3301 logo is that the cicada appears to be a collage. The veins of the right hind wing are different than the left hind wing. Either the wing was taken from a different species, or the lines that appear in the anal lobe were cloned/copied to cover the entire hindwing.
Interesting. When I have more time I’ll try to ID the actual cicada — or at least the primary species the image was made from.
I wonder what 3301 stands for? Entomologists Enjoy Only Insects?
December 3, 2013
I picked up a film on 16mm (what they showed to kids in school before VHS tapes were popular) called Cicada – The Insect Methuselah. I would love to see it, but I don’t have a 16mm projector (who does?) The film is presumably about 17/13 Year cicadas. I held the film up to a light, and it indeed features the Magicicada species.
The film was produced by the Moody Institute of Science in 1955, and I assume they still hold the copyright to the film. It is 12 minutes in length.
Update: Roy Troutman contacted us to let us know that this video footage can be found in another video: The Mystery of The Three Clocks, which you can watch here:
The most impressive thing about the video is the anatomical model of the cicada. I wish I had one (but I might have to go back to the 50’s to get one).
October 15, 2013
Just in time for Halloween… the Zammara a genus of cicadas with a collar like Dracula!
Andreas Kay has been posting photos of the insects of Ecuador on Flickr for around a year now. He’s posted many excellent cicada photos, particularly, photos of Zammara. They are among the most visually interesting cicadas.
Emerald Cicada, Zammara smaragdina:
Here’s an illustration from Insecta. Rhynchota. Hemiptera-Homoptera. Vol. I by W. L. Distant and The Rev Canon W. W. Fowler, F.L.S:
Here the Scientific classification:
Species: Zammara smaragdina Walker, 1850
Here’s an article about Collared cicadas of Mexico, Central & South America.
October 11, 2013
Australian singer/songwriter Laura Imbruglia sent us this photo of her cicada tattoo. Of course, we love it! And we love her music too.
October 3, 2013
Amy Shaw shared a photo of her new photo-realistic cicada tattoo.
The tattoo artist is Dan Henk.
June 4, 2013
It isn’t often that cicada celebrities show up on your Mother’s lawn, but when you have a healthy supply of easily catchable singing M. septendecim, and a cicada website, these things happen.
Last Saturday I met up with cicada researcher John Cooley, Japanese cicada researcher Jim Yoshimura, and musician and professor David Rothenberg at Roosevelt Park in Edison NJ. They were looking for male cicadas to perform with David at a World Science Festival event in the Bronx later that night. New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was also there to interview David and John, and artist Asher Jay was there to lend David support.
The cicadas in the park weren’t performing well enough, so I directed them to my Mom’s place in Metuchen.
The Metuchen location yielded many screaming cicadas. David collaborated with the cicadas on the spot with his Ani-Moog iPad app, and a clarinet. John Cooley dropped some cicada science for Stephen Farrell’s video camera as well. My Mom served refreshments. Once enough cicadas were collected, the cicada celebrities departed — before leaving David left my Mom an autographed book and CD. Very cool!
A beautiful day for enjoying the song of cicadas in the suburbs of New Jersey.
More from David Rothenberg:
David Rothenberg plays Animoog on iPad live with cicadas:
More about David Rothenberg:
Man composes music with cicadas (news story with a video).
Cicada Mania: A 17-Year Benchmark on PBS (BTW, nice name for a TV PBS):
More from John Cooley:
Here’s a photo of David Rothenberg’s book Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise:
May 23, 2013
Update: Here is the show that featured the finished cicada songs: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/51182
Are you a musician? Would you go out in the field ( or your yard ) and jam with some cicadas? WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk wants you to send him your duets with cicadas!
Visit Send Me Your Insect Duets! WFMU 17-Year Itch Special Forthcoming! to learn more about Kurt’s appeal to musicians.
I want to hear you sing with the cicadas! They’re out in DC and starting to emerge in Jersey. From what I’ve been able to discern there’s little agreement about where they’ll be in NYC.
My friends form the band Blithe Doll are already planning on contributing their cicada collaboration.
Speaking of musicians who have jammed with cicadas, here is David Rothenberg jamming with some 17 year cicadas:
David also has a new album called Bug Music featuring his collaborations with insects!
Last night at the Judson Church in NYC I opened David’s “Richard Robinson: Song of the Cicada (World Premiere), Insect Music, based on the calls, chirps and clicks of various insects” event with a presentation about the 17 Year cicadas. David’s film and music were extraordinary. Here is a review of the event.
Want to sponsor what could be the greatest cicada documentary of all time? Samuel Orr has a Kickstarter to fund the production of his 17 year cicada documentary Return of the Cicadas.
Rewards for backing the project include cool stuff like the film (download, dvd or bluray depending on your pledge amount) and a fine art photo print.
Just watch Samuel’s trailer for the film. You will want to back this film after seeing the trailer:
More information about Samuel and the Kickstarter:
I’m a natural history filmmaker and time-lapse photographer (http://www.motionkicker.com/time-lapse/), and have been following and filming the various broods of periodical cicadas since 2007 (there are multiple groupings of cicadas called broods that come out in different years across the eastern U.S.). I’ve got 200+ hours of footage, and am working towards an hour documentary that focuses on the 17-year varieties as well as cicadas in general. This film is anticipated in 2014, and will be broadcast on PBS afterwards.