Cicada Mania

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

September 30, 2013

Cicadas of Thailand Volume 2: Taxonomy and Sonic Ethology by Michel Boulard

Filed under: Books | Michel Boulard | Thailand — Dan @ 7:07 am

Cicadas of Thailand Volume 2: Taxonomy and Sonic Ethology by Michel Boulard is available now via Siri Scientific Press.

Cicadas of Thailand 2

A comprehensive 436 page volume from the leading world expert representing 13 years of work on taxonomy (including several newly described species) and sonic ethology, with supporting audio tracks

I ordered a copy already.

Cicadas of Thailand Volume 1 was a great resource for the cicadas of Thailand and South-East Asia in general (many Asian species are not endemic, so you’ll find them in many countries). I imagine that Volume 2 will be just as amazing.

Here’s his first book Cicadas of Thailand: General and Particular Characteristics. Volume 1:

The Cicadas of Thailand by Michel Boulard

September 22, 2013

Cicada Season has begun in Australia

Filed under: Australia | Cyclochila | Cystosoma | David Emery | Pauropsalta — Dan @ 8:40 pm

David Emery wrote to let us know that cicada season has begun in parts of Australia:

After some 50mm of rain on 16-17 Sept and the warmest winter on record on the east coast, the “masked devil” morphs of Cyclochila australasiae were in good voice in the mountains west and south of Sydney, Australia on 22nd Sept. The bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii) are also rattling in Metro Sydney. These are about 2 weeks early this year as are several of the smaller grass cicadas and Pauropsalta species. Roll on summer!

Cheers, David.

Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae):
Masked Devil cicada (Cyclochila australasiae)

More information about Cyclochila australasiae.

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii):
Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii)

More information about Cystosoma saundersii.

Bottle Cicada (Chlorocysta sp.):
Bottle Cicada

More information about Bottle cicadas.

September 6, 2013

Latest Comments on Cicada Mania

Filed under: Mail, Comments & Social — Dan @ 2:59 am

Want to know the latest comments happening on Cicada Mania?

The 10 Latest Comments from the Website


Message Board Archives

The message board Archives can be useful for researching Broods that emerged in the late 90s and 00s.

Visit the message board archvies and scroll through 1000’s of cicada questions and sightings.

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: Canada | Tibicen | United States | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

July 30, 2013

Megatibicen auletes in Manchester, NJ

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Megatibicen | Tibicen | Video — Tags: , — Dan @ 8:44 pm

Last night I went on an exploration of Manchester, NJ looking for Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) with Elias Bonaros and his friend Annette.

M. auletes, are known as the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. As their name suggests, M. auletes calls at dusk, around sunset. Their call is amazing – visit Insect Singers to hear their call.

Luckily I found a (deceased) female and an exuvia (nymph skin). Elias and Annette found many exuvia and a live nymph. We were able to watch the nymph undergo ecdysis (leave its exuvia, and expand its adult body).

Here are some images of the cicadas we found last night (click the first two images to get to larger versions):

Neotibicen auletes nymph

Ventral view. Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Dorsal view. Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Some (blurry) video:

Dan and Elias netting a M. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

Dan and Elias netting a T. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

July 24, 2013

Cicada Summer Fun

Filed under: News — Dan @ 5:06 am

It has been about a month since the last time I saw a Brood II periodical cicada. The Brood II emergence is over, aside from flagging and nymph hatches. That doesn’t mean the cicada fun has to end. Annual species of cicadas are out in the Northern hemisphere. Depending on where you live, you should be able to hear, and if you’re lucky, see annual cicadas.

Tibicen, particularly Tibicen tibicen, the Swamp Cicada, are out in the eastern U.S.

Here’s a cell phone photo of a Tibicen exvuvia (from Middletown, NJ) and a male Tibicen tibicen (found by my sister in Edison, NJ):

Tibicen exuvia

Male Tibicen tibicen

Other species are out as well…

Here’s a Tweet and YouTube video featuring a Diceroprocta apache from Arizona:

Summertime cicadas aren’t limited to North America of course. Here is a video of A rock musician’s folk remedy to make cicadas stop singing in Greece:

If you’re on Twitter, follow @Zi_kade for photos of cicadas from Japan. That is the twitter feed by the guy behind the best website for info about the cicadas of Japan: Cicadae in Japan.

You can also follow @cicadamania, which is the feed for this site.

July 16, 2013

Help identify these cicadas from India

Filed under: Identify | India | Macrosemia | Raghu Ananth — Dan @ 5:46 am

Raghu Ananth sent us these photos of cicadas from India. If you can identify them, let use know.

UPDATE: David Emery provided use with these ID’s, in Order from Top to Bottom:

Macrosemia umbrata. Platypleura capitata, Platypleura sp and Pomponia linearis.
Macrosemia umbrata Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh, India by Raghu Ananth

Click the images for a larger version:

Cicada Found Near Mysore, India: Platypleura capitata
Platypleura capitata by Raghu Ananth, taken near Mysore, India:

Cicada Found in Kukke Subramanya: Platypleura sp

Cicada Found in Kukke Subramanya, Karnataka, India by Raghu Ananth

Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India: Pomponia linearis

Pomponia linearis Cicada Found in Bhagamandala, Coorg, India by Raghu Ananth

Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh_ India by Raghu Ananth
Cicada Found in Arunachal Pradesh_ India by Raghu Ananth 2

June 29, 2013

Where’s the cicadas?

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 12:57 am

At this point in the 2013 Brood II emergence, all the cicadas that will emerge, have emerged. I’m sorry to say that if periodical cicadas have not emerged in your yard/neighborhood/town, they won’t. This is frustrating for people who heard that the cicadas would emerge in their state or those who looked at a brood map and assumed their neighborhood fell within the area shown on the map.

People in Pennsylvania, for example, heard that cicadas would arrive in their state, but unfortunately, the cicadas only occupy a small banana-shaped region in the east of the state:

Pony tail on New Jersey

If you look at one of the older maps for Brood II, it looks like the state of New Jersey is covered, however, each dot might represent only one sighing in one specific area. These old maps are useful, but they can be misleading (more on maps later in this article).

map example

Back in 2004, after Brood X emerged, I wrote an article called: What Happened: the Magicicada No-Show of 2004. The information in that article is relevant for Brood II as well.

The truth is periodical cicadas do not occupy every square acre of a state in which they are expected to emerge. Even in towns where they do emerge, they are rarely present in every acre or block of those towns. Why? Well, either they were eliminated in the areas where they once were found (due to urban sprawl, pesticides, weather-related events, etc), or they simply were never there in the first place. New threats like extreme weather (flooding and tree destruction by tropical storms) and tree-destroying invasive species (like the emerald ash borer) will continue to shrink cicada habitat areas.

It is important, for future emergences, that the press/media and cicada websites provide more accurate information about the location of the cicadas. The cicada sighting information people provide to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) is very important because it will lead to better maps and more accurate sighting information.

One thing I’m glad that I did this year was to provide a page that listed specific towns in New Jersey where cicadas could be expected. I wish I did one for every state in the Brood II area [but Cicada Mania is not my day job, and there are only so many hours in a day].

That said, we never want to discourage people from looking for periodical cicadas in areas we don’t expect them to exist. Last year unexpected Brood I cicadas emerged in Tennessee. This year periodical cicadas unexpectedly emerged in Oklahoma. A lot of us were hoping cicadas would show up in Central Park in Manhattan, but they didn’t (however, I didn’t personally walk every acre of the park).

So, what can you do to help?

  • If you’re a member of the press/media (yes that includes bloggers and tweeters), make sure you get precise locations from cicada experts.
  • Report cicada and flagging sightings to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) so we have better records of the emergence.
  • Help cicada research by participating in a cicada community science project.
  • Help preserve the current cicada habitat. Preserve trees. Avoid pesticides. Don’t wipe out another forest to add yet another redundant giant store.

A consolation for people who missed out on the 17 year cicadas: there are about 160 species of annual cicadas in North America. They’re usually harder to find and catch, but you can still hear and capture them if you put some time and effort into it.

June 28, 2013

The Brood II Emergence Has Begun

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 1:12 am

June 28th Update

At this point if you haven’t had a periodical cicada emerge in your yard/neighborhood/town, you won’t. The best last chance to see them would be in New York State along rte 9G, parts of 9 and 9J. The more northern, the better. I visited that area last weekend, and found some great spots.

Flagging (when leaves turn brown from cicada egg laying) can be seen in New Jersey and states south of there. Probably a little bit of Connecticut and New York as well.

People are noticing sap dripping from the scars left behind from cicada egg laying.

Next up will be the hatching of the eggs.

Don’t forget to report FLAGGING (brown leaves) sightings to Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) so they can add them to their live map. You can report flagging, as well as egg nests, and newly hatched nymphs.

As usual Cicada Mania offers a full line of shirts, glassware, buttons and other souvenirs:

June 17th Update

After visiting central New Jersey and Staten Island over the weekend it’s clear that the emergence in that area is past peak. There is less singing, plenty of ovipositing and some flagging.

Staten Island: Wolfe’s Pond Park and areas along Amboy Road still has enough cicadas to enjoy them, in Staten Island. Bloomingdale Park and High Rock Park are disappointing.

New York State along the Hudson River valley is the place to go to see them at their best. Places like High Falls & Germany Town, and as far north as Stuyvesant.

Rain spoiled a lot of the emergence (for cicada fans). Here is a funny editorial cartoon about the cicadas and frequent rain.

Enjoy some periodical cicada video I uploaded this weekend.

Some new sounds as well.

June 9th Update

We’re at the halfway point.

The 2013 Brood II emergence began somewhere between April, 23rd and May, 1st, in North Carolina and Virginia. Nymphs are still emerging along the Hudson River in NY and in Connecticut.

Here’s a nice gallery of images from Dani Siddle taken in the Malden-on-Hudson area.
Magicicada cassini in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle 2

Areas in southern states are no doubt in the clean up phase. Adults have stopped singing, and corpses litter the ground, while the eggs of the next generation are nestled in branches high up in trees.

This is what to expect here on out:

They stink — literally, not figuratively. Yeah, their rotting corpses stink, so you want to clean them up. A rake and shovel work. Some people use vacuums, which are effective, but your vacuums might inherit the smell of the cicadas.

The hatch — in about 6-8 weeks the eggs laid in tree branches will hatch and the 1st instar nymphs will fall to the ground (see “THE ECOLOGY, BEHAVIOR AND EVOLUTION OF PERIODICAL CICADAS” by Kathy S. Williams and Chris Simon). The fall doesn’t hurt them because they have a low terminal velocity. Wear a hat in August. At this point they quickly dig into the soil, and start feeding on roots — small grass roots at first, and larger roots as they get larger. Chances are you won’t even notice them. Sadly, about 98% of them die in the first two years. Just imagine if they all survived — 5000% more cicadas!

The birds will come back — birds and other critters often leave a neighborhood during a cicada emergence. Either they get their fill of eating the cicadas, they can’t hear each other over the over-powering call of the cicadas, or they find it hard to navigate the sky and trees with all the cicadas around. What ever the case, birds and other animals will return to your neighborhood once the cicadas die off. Do not worry.

June 7th Update

Some interesting news stories:

Westfield Residents Learn the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Cicadas

A podcast with David Rothenberg and John Cooley.

An Invasion of 17-Year-Olds, Loud, Lusty and Six-Legged

June 6th Update

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last update, but I’ve been busy — traveling around looking and listening for cicadas. I have literally 100s of photos and videos, and information to update the site with. Lots of info to come.

Ladies: check out these cicada-themed finger nails!

Road-tripers: East Coast Cicadas: (Road Side) Attractions They Couldn’t See In 1996.

Status of the emergence:
– Cicadas in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland should be post-peak. Singing, mating, laying eggs, but mostly dying. New Jersey is at it’s peak — mostly singing, mating and laying eggs. Pensy, Staten Island and the rest of New York have cicadas in all phases, but they should still have some emerging nymphs to check out. If you want to watch nymphs emerging at this point, Connecticut is the place to go.

Locations I’ve visited and heard or saw cicadas:
New Jersey: Metuchen, Edison, Iselin, Colonia, Woodbridge, Westfield, Fanwood, Summit, Scotch Plains, Clark, Watchung…
Staten Island: most parks in southern SI, like Wolfe’s Pong Park (the cicadas survived Sandy) and Bloomingdale Park. Lots along Drumgoole road.

Locations other people reported:
– Meriden, CT

– Berkeley Heights NJ
– Flat Rock Brood Nature Center www.flatrockbrook.org in NJ
– Lewis Morris Park, Convent Station, Madison and Morris Township in NJ
– Maplewood in Essex County, NJ
– Millburn, NJ (South Mountain Reservation)
– Mountainside, NJ
– Plainfield, NJ
– Upper Montclair, NJ
– West Milford, NJ

– Cornwall-On Hudson, NY
– Red Hook, NY

– Glen Allen, VA
– Manassas Battlefield Park in VA
– Woodbridge VA

See the live map for the lastest 500 locations reported to Magiciada.org.

Where they’re not (sorry):
– DC (they’re south west of DC).
– Most counties in New Jersey south of Middlesex (with some exceptions).
– Most of Pensy

May 24th Update

Cold days ahead until Tuesday for the Brood II cicadas, at least in the northern states. Temperatures below 57 F/14 C will put the insects into a state of torpor, making them easy prey for critters. The rain and wind doesn’t help either. Read: “Adaptation of the Thermal Responses of Insects” by James E. Heath; James L. Hanegan; Peter J. Wilkin; Maxine Shoemaker Heath.

Some positive news: Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) has declared a pocket of Brood II in Georgia. Time to update the brood charts!

May 23rd Update

Oh Hai!

I heard chorusing for the first time in Metuchen, NJ today.

+ Berkeley Heights, NJ (thx Lucinda)
+ Finneytown Ohio (thx Roy) (technically not Brood II)

A video of a cicada undergoing ecdysis (emerging from its nymphal skin (exuvia)), from Rachel in Charlottesville, Va:

A video of The New Jersey Cicada Takeover in Summit NJ from Jason:

Here’s an adult cicada in Westfield NJ:

Update for May 22nd

+ Upper Montclair NJ (thx Eryn)

Today I found a white eyed male Magicicada septendecim in Metuchen NJ. Here is a video. White eyed periodical cicadas are relatively rare.

Update for May 21st

The cicadas are chorusing in Charlottesville VA. Here’s a video of their chorus. (thx Rachel)

According to Henryk J. Behnke of the Staten Island Museum: “Finally, the temperature is right and the first, small groups of hundreds of 17-year cicadas are emerging on Staten Island’s South Shore.”

Jason sent us this YouTube video of teneral (soft, white, newly emerged) adults in Summit NJ:

And this video of adult cicadas:

Update for May 19th

More locations:
Guilford, CT (thx Justin)
Chase City and Farmville, VA (thx Nathan)
Manassas, VA (thx Camillia)
Summit, NJ (see a video of a lone nymph crawling around):

See where cicada researchers Satoshi Kakishima and Jin Yoshimura have located cicadas: https://cicadas.uconn.edu.

Update for May 18th

Cicadas are starting to emerge throughout New Jersey. Westfield, Iselin and Metuchen are visually confirmed. I will assume that they have started to emerge in Staten Island as well because of the relative proximity of Staten Island and Jersey.

Cicadas have started chorusing in North Garden, VA.

Visual confirmation of the emergence in:
Westfield, NJ
Metuchen, NJ
Iselin, NJ
Fredricksburg, VA
Lake Ridge, VA
Yadkin County, NC

Some new galleries of photos:

Update (5/16):

Jim Reported in with photos of an adult cicada in Westfield NJ! the first NJ sighting I’ve seen.

The emergence in Virginia continues to be strong.

Louisa County VA
Rhoadesville VA (Orange County)
Springfield VA

Update (5/15): Randy from Rhoadsville VA said “Today was 85 and its still 74 at 11PM. WOW! The emergence is incredible. There are nymphs everywhere and in various stages from molting”.

On the Facebook Cicada Mania page, Clarla said “The wooded areas around my house are “boiling” and you can hear the larvae digging their way out. LOTS of molting nymphs all over my entrance”.

Update (5/14): cicadas have emerged in many locations in Virgina, including:

Brentsville, VA
Calvert County, VA
Charlottesville, VA
Doylesville, VA
Kinderhook, VA
Martinsville, VA
Stafford County, VA
Stanardsville, VA

A gallery of Brood II cicadas on Flickr!

Update (5/9): cicadas have emerged in North Carolina, Virgina (see a photo) and Maryland (read a tweet) so far. Nymphs are active in New Jersey according to Magicicada and my sister’s chihuahua:

chihuahua cicada

Update (5/2): cicadas have emerged in Guilford County and Stokes County North Carolina.

May 1st:

Over on the Entomology-Cicadidae cicada group a gentleman named Tommy Joseph has posted photos of periodical cicadas which have emerged this week in Greensboro, North Carolina This makes sense as North Carolina is the southern-most state with a Brood II population, and southern states warm up before northern states.

There are also plenty of sightings (mostly nymphs, but some adults) on the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) map. Don’t forget to post your sighting there.

Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org)

The emergence will proceed slowly at first, starting with the southern-most states.

And something amusing for the kids:

17 year cicadas y u no?

Of course it wouldn’t be as special if they did emerge every year.

June 26, 2013

Help the Simon Cicada Lab study periodical cicada nymphs

Filed under: Community Science | Magicicada | Nymphs | Periodical — Dan @ 9:20 pm

The Simon Lab is dedicated to the study of cicadas, in particular, periodical cicadas.

One of the things they study is the development of cicada nymphs while they are underground.

They need your help to collect cicada nymph specimens. You would dig for them, and if you find them, mail them to the Simon Lab. The nymphs will be used for valuable scientific study, so the loss of a few from your yard will not be in vain.

If you are interested in participating in cicada nymph research, visit The Simon Lab Nymph Tracking Project page for more information. You must have had periodical cicadas on your property in past 13 or 17 years to find the nymphs — not including the Brood II area, since those nymphs came out of the ground this year.

Cicada Nymphs

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