Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

Cicada researchers associated with academic institutions.

February 4, 2013

A day at the Staten Island Museum

Filed under: Edward Johnson | Hemisciera | United States | William T. Davis — Dan @ 10:51 pm

I spent most of the day at the Staten Island Museum. The Staten Island Museum has North America’s largest collection of cicadas — over 35,000 specimens!!! Most, if not all the specimens came from William T. Davis’ personal collection. Davis was a naturalist and entomologist located in Staten Island, NY, who was active in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Read more about the collection.

The museum is currently working on a huge cicada exhibit and many cicada events throughout the year. The They’re Baaack! Return of the 17-year Cicada Family Day event will happen in a few weeks.

Here’s a few shots of the museum and the collection I took with my camera phone:

Part of their giant Wall of Insects:

Wall of Insects

Number 39 in that photo is Hemisciera maculipennis, aka the “stop and go cicada”. When alive the cicada’s coloring is green and red, like a traffic signal. Here is a photo of a live H. maculipennis.

Tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasps:

Tibicen and cicada killer wasps

Tacua speciosa detail:

Tacua speciosa

A giant light-up cicada outside the museum:

Light up cicada Staten Island

Just part of the Staten Island Museum’s cicada collection

stacks of cicadas

Thanks to Ed Johnson, Director of Science, for showing me many of amazing specimens in the museum’s collection.

Bonus: You can download a copy of William T. Davis’ document North American Cicadas. It’s free!

January 20, 2013

The Cicadas of Thailand, Vol.2. Coming Soon?

Filed under: Books | Michel Boulard | Thailand — Dan @ 3:42 pm

It looks like there’s a new The Cicadas of Thailand book out (or coming out soon).

ISBN 978-974-480-165-4
WL Order Code 22 645
Bangkok 2011
Boulard, Michel; The Cicadas of Thailand, Vol.2. Taxonomy and Sonic Ethology
White Lotus Press

Looks like it will be for sale here.

Cicadas of Thailand 2

December 30, 2012

Tosena Cicadas

Filed under: Oriental Cicadidae | Tosena | Tosenini | W. L. Distant — Dan @ 9:56 am

Tosena is a genus of cicadas that can be found in the Indo-Malaya ecozone, which includes the Indian subcontinent, Southeastern Asia and southern China. Tosena cicadas have colorful wings, which rival the beauty of butterfly wings. Tosena are easily obtainable online from stores that sell insects, or ebay. The Tosena genus was first identified by Charles Jean-Baptiste Amyot & Jean Guillaume Audinet-Serville in 1843.

From A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant:

Tosena is one of the most conspicuous genera of the Cicadidae, and its species are all included in this fauna. The north-eastern districts of Continental India are its head-quarters, for here are focused some of the largest and handsomest of its species ; it is also well represented in Burma, and from thence its distribution is extended throughout the Malay Peninsula to the south, and apparently northward as far as some portions of China. In the Malayan Archipelago it is not uncommon in Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, and as I have seen representatives from Amboyna, it probably exists in other intervening islands, of which, however, we have at present no precise information.

Different types of Tosena:

Tosena albata:

Tosena albata
Photo by Michel Chantraine.

Photos of live T. albata.

Distinguishing features: Mustard colored pronotal collar, orange abdomen with a series of two black circular spots, and dark brown wings with one white stripe on each fore wing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena depicta:

Tosena depicta
Illustration from A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant.

Photos of living T. depicta.

Distinguishing features: A vibrant green pronotal collar; an orange abdomen with a series of black markings; wings are dark brown to black, with the one white stripe on each fore wing, and a white anal lobe on each hind wing.

Phantastic songs of the S.E. Asian cicadas! website has an MP3 of a T. depicta singing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena fasciata

Tosena fasciata by Álvaro Lisón Gómez
Tosena fasciata by Álvaro Lisón Gómez Creative Commons License.

Photo of a live T. fasciata.

Distinguishing features: A pale orange pronotal collar; brown wings with one white stripe on each fore wing; an orange abdomen with one black spot; the the anal lobe of the hind wing appears lighter in color than the rest of the hind wing.

Habitat: Southeast Asia.

Tosena mearesiana

No photos.

Distinguishing features: See A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant

Habitat: India.

Tosena melanoptera

Photos of a live T. melanoptera.

Distinguishing features: Red eyes; white pronotal collar; pale brown stripe on dark brown fore wings.

Habitat: India & Southeast Asia.

Tosena monitvaga

No photos.

Distinguishing features: See A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant

Habitat: India.

Sources to learn more about Tosena cicadas:

  • The Book Cicadas of Thailand: General and Particular Characteristics. Volume 1 by Michel Boulard. This book mentions Tosena, in particular, many times, and in general it does an excellent job of discussing the anatomy, behavior and habitat of cicadas found in Thailand.
  • A Monograph of Oriental Cicadidae by W. L. Distant. (1889, Published by the Order of the Trustees of the Indian Museum of Calcutta).
  • Rhynchota: Heteroptera-Homopetera ( Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma ) by W. L. Distant (1906)
  • The Cicadas of India Facebook page

December 9, 2012

Two new cicada publications worth reading

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn | Canada | United States — Dan @ 1:46 pm

Two relatively new cicada publications that should be worth reading:

1) Avian Predation Pressure as a Potential Driver of Periodical Cicada Cycle Length by Walter D. Koenig and Andrew M. Liebhold, The American Naturalist. This is a newly electronically published paper about what drives the long, prime-numbered lifecycle of Magicicada periodical cicadas.

Abstract:

The extraordinarily long life cycles, synchronous emergences at 13- or 17-year intervals, and complex geographic distribution of periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) in eastern North America are a long-standing evolutionary enigma. Although a variety of factors, including satiation of aboveground predators and avoidance of interbrood hybridization, have been hypothesized to shape the evolution of this system, no empirical support for these mechanisms has previously been reported, beyond the observation that bird predation can extirpate small, experimentally mistimed emergences. Here we show that periodical cicada emergences appear to set populations of potential avian predators on numerical trajectories that result in significantly lower potential predation pressure during the subsequent emergence. This result provides new support for the importance of predators in shaping periodical cicada life history, offers an ecological rationale for why emergences are synchronized at the observed multiyear intervals, and may explain some of the developmental plasticity observed in these unique insects.

Order it from JSTOR.

2) The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of N. America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath. 227 pages.

A comprehensive review of the North Amerian cicada fauna that provides information on synonymies, type localities, and type material. There are 170 species and 21 subspecies found in continental N. America north of Mexico. The book has 211 figures with each species photographed in color.

Buy it from the Entomological Society of America website. I’ve already ordered mine.

I can’t wait for Sanborn’s book on Central and South America (hopefully, that will arrive within the next few years).

Update:

I’ve received Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath’s book. It’s focus is on identifying all species of cicada fauna in North America, north of Mexico, as the title says. It also identifies species that were reported to exist in this location, but do not. The book provides maps and common attributes of each genus of cicada, and then for each species it provides photos of the holotype (and the location of the holotype), as well as a history of its taxonomy.

December 2, 2012

Mating Bladder cicadas

Filed under: Cystosoma | David Emery | Mating — Tags: — Dan @ 7:34 am


Mating bladders 2, originally uploaded by ozzicada.

An excellent photo of mating Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) by David Emery.

November 7, 2012

How to learn more about cicadas, by searching for cicada researchers

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn | FAQs | Zammara — Dan @ 10:58 pm

Just about anything and everything ends up on the web these days, including research papers written by cicada researchers. Many of these papers are easily downloaded from the web, and once downloaded you can read them and expand your knowledge about cicadas.

This weekend I was looking for information about cicadas from Central and South America (the Neotropic ecozone). Allen F. Sanborn, Ph.D is well known for his research of cicadas of that region, so I searched for some of his research papers. Google will retrieve all PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files that contain the word cicada and the name Allen F. Sanborn, when you search for “Allen F. Sanborn cicada ext:pdf” (remove the quotes when you search).

Some interesting papers I found include:

Checklist of the cicadas (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of Paraguay including new records for six species (Sanborn, Allen F., 2011). This paper includes a long list of cicada species, which I used to look for images of cicadas on Flickr.com.

The new records increase the known cicada diversity 37.5% bringing the total number of cicada species reported in Paraguay to 22 species in 12 genera representing five tribes and three subfamilies of the family Cicadidae. There are currently no known endemic species.

Two New Zammara Species from South America (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadidae) (Sanborn, Allen F., Florida Entomologist 87(3),2004). This paper includes many photographs, which make cicada identification easy.

ABSTRACT
Two new members of the widespread Neotropical genus Zammara Amyot & Serville, Zammara
olivacea n.sp. from Columbia and Zammara medialinea n.sp. from Venezuela are described.

Key Words: new species, taxonomy, cicada, Zammara, Columbia, Venezuela.

New Records for the Cicada Fauna from Four Central American Countries (HEMIPTERA: CICADOIDEA: CICADIDAE (Sanborn, Allen F.; Florida Entomologist 89(1), 2006). This article features a map with cicada species names.

ABSTRACT
Analysis of museum specimens has added to the cicada fauna of Belize, El Salvador, Guate- mala, and Honduras. Information on the cicada fauna reported in the literature as well as the first records of cicada species to the fauna are reported here to provide a more accurate un- derstanding of cicada diversity in each country and the region. The new records represent an increase of 75, 14, 110, and 320%, respectively, to the cicada faunal diversity of each country.
Key Words: cicadas, biodiversity, Central America

If you use my Google formula, you can find these papers too.

The The Current Status of Cicada Taxonomy on a Region-by-Region Basis page on Cicada Central is a good resource for learning about other cicada researchers.

May 17, 2012

The 2012 Tennessee emergence

Filed under: Brood I | John Cooley | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 12:09 pm

John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) (don’t forget to report your sightings) wrote to tell us about the large emergence of periodical cicadas in Tennessee. See the picture below taken by John in Warriors’ Path State Park, TN.

The mystery is defining which brood these cicadas belong to. Are they brood XIV stragglers; are they an undocumented pocket of Brood I cicadas; or are they cicadas that straggled long ago, but finally established a healthy population in synch with Brood I? For now, it’s a puzzle.

2012 Tennessee photo by John Cooley

See John’s map on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) that documents the 2012 Tennessee cicadas.

Update: A similar emergence occurred in 1995 (17 years ago) in the Warriors’ Path State Park, TN area. This could be an undocumented area of Brood I cicadas.

October 26, 2011

Cicadas serenaded the dinosaurs

Filed under: Gene Kritsky | Nymphs — Dan @ 10:15 am

Apparently cicadas serenaded the dinosaurs! Entomologist and Mount St. Joseph professor Gene Kritsky shared the news today that cicadas lived as long as 110 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

A quote from a press release:

New research has documented that cicadas, those noisy insects that sing during the dog days of summer, have been screaming since the time of the dinosaurs.

A fossil of the oldest definitive cicada to be discovered was described by George Poinar, Jr., Ph.D., professor of zoology at Oregon State University and Gene Kritsky, Ph.D., professor of biology, at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. The cicada, measuring 1.26 mm in length, was named Burmacicada protera.

Read the full Press Release on the MSJ website.

Here is a photo of the ancient Burmacicada protera cicada nymph trapped in amber. Photo credit: George Poinar, Jr., Ph.D.

Burmacicada protera. Copyright of George Poinar, Jr.

It looks a lot like a modern-day first-instar cicada nymph:
First instar cicada nymphs
Photo by Roy Troutman.

Update: Here’s a video news story about Gene’s fossil find.

I need a step-up my fossil collecting hobby. It looks like there’s some places in New Jersey to find fossils. Maybe I’ll find a cicada.

September 16, 2010

Bladder Cicadas out in Sydney

Filed under: Australia | Cystosoma | David Emery — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:19 pm

Thanks to David Emery for letting us know that the Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) are out in Sydney Australia, and for providing this photo.

Badder cicadas are emerging down the Aussie east coast starting around the Queensland -NSW border on Sept 3 (FlickR) and we heard them for the first time on Sept 10 in Sydney. A photo of one captured on Sept 12 is attached to refresh Cicadamania devotees.

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii)

August 11, 2010

Cool new cicada website: Insect Singers

Filed under: David Marshall | Kathy Hill | Sounds — Dan @ 3:29 pm

Hey,

If you’re interested in North American cicada species, and you’re looking for sound files of those cicada’s songs, check out Insect Singers, a new website from cicada researchers David Marshall and Kathy Hill. It has dozens of audio samples. Awesome!

Insect Singers

« Newer PostsMore »

Cicada T-shirts