Cicada Mania

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

November 10, 2012

Cicada Turrets or Chimneys

Filed under: Chimneys — Dan @ 9:29 am

Cicada nymphs create what we call turrets or chimneys above the tunnel hole where they will eventually emerge. These chimneys are made from soil. They are a positive indication of where cicada nymphs are underground and that they will emerge soon. Cicadas seem to build chimneys in wetter, muddier areas; in dry areas they will simply make holes at the surface. The chimneys will help keep water and mud from back-filling their holes, so they can continue to breathe, take a peek out and prepare to emerge.

Magicicada Tunnel (by Les Daniels):

Magicicada chimney

Magicicada chimney

A cicada tunnel in Bangkok Thailand (by Santisuk Vibul):
cicada tunnel view from top Thailand photo by Santisuk Vibul

Three Magicicada chimneys (by Roy Troutman):

Magicicada nymph turret by Roy:

This is video taken of a magicicada nymph turret. These turrets are often found in wet areas.

Magicicada nymph turret from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

Getting Ready for the 2013 Brood II Emergence

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 12:01 am

Brood II will next emerge in 2030.

This page has not been updated since 2013.

Cicada Mania was started back in 1996, the last time Brood II emerged! The Spring of 2013 will be our first chance to see the children of the cicadas that emerged 17 years ago. Here is the basic information you need to know about the 2013 Brood II emergence.

Even though the emergence is 5 to 6 months away, it is never too early to begin planning… especially if you are a cicada maniac like me.

Magicicada septendecimThere will be plenty of cicadas on hand.

When will the Brood II cicadas emerge?

Brood II cicadas will emerge sometime in the Spring of 2013. They typically emerge once the soil 8 inches (20cm) below the surface gets to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18º C). If we have a hot Spring, as we did in 2012, the cicadas could emerge in mid-to-late April. If we have a moderate Spring, the cicadas will wait until May.

Where will they emerge?

Brood II will emerge in parts of Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Magicicadas won’t emerge everywhere in the states mentioned above. They might not exist in your town or neighborhood (particularly if trees were removed from your neighborhood).

More information about where the cicadas will emerge.

What is a Magicicada cicada?

Magicicada is a genus of periodical cicadas known for emerging in massive numbers in 17 or 13 year cycles/periods. The cicadas emerging in 2013 have 17 year life-cycles. Magicicada are also organized into broods. There are 12 broods of 17 year cicadas, and the brood emerging in 2013 is Brood II (Brood Two).

There are 3 species of 17-year Magicicada: M. septendecim (aka “decims”), M. cassini, and M. septendecula. The adults of all three species have black bodies with orange markings, and almost all have red-orange eyes (some have white or multi-colored eyes.

Here is some video and audio of 17-year Magicicada. This will give you an idea of what to expect:

Cicada Mania, best of 2007, part 1 by Dan from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

More information:


1907 Map Marlatt, C.L.. 1907. The periodical cicada. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology.

Marlatt 1907 02 Brood II

November 8, 2012

Brazil Cicada Identification Challenge, Part 2

Filed under: Brazil | Fidicina | Fidicinini | Fidicinoides | Identify — Tags: — Dan @ 9:43 pm

Here is part 2. Jairo of Cigarras do Brasil — Brazilian Cicadas asked for our help to identify some unknown cicada species from Brazil. The following photographs feature cicadas from Brazil we want to identify. We are hoping folks in the cicada research community can help.

Note: All of these cicadas were photographed at Paraibuna, São Paulo. This town is close to the Paraíba Valley (Vale do Paraíba), and to São José dos Campos and Caçapava.

1) Possibly an Ariasa sp. (about 1/2 inch (1,3cm))

Possibly an Ariasa sp. (about 1/2 inch (1,3cm))

2) Possibly a Quesada sodalis (about 1 1/2 inch (4cm))

Possibly a Quesada sodalis (about 1 1/2 inch (4cm))

Possibly a Quesada sodalis (about 1 1/2 inch (4cm))

Cicadas 3, 4 and 5 were identified by David Emery as Fidicinoides picea (Walker, 1850). Learn more about Fidicnoides picea.

3) Identified: Fidicinoides picea.

Fidicinoides picea

4) Identified: Fidicinoides picea.

Fidicinoides picea

5) Identified: Fidicinoides picea.

Fidicinoides picea

Brazil Cicada Identification Challenge, Part 1

Filed under: Brazil | Identify | Sounds | Video — Dan @ 9:19 pm

Jairo of Cigarras do Brasil – Brazilian Cicadas asked for our help to identify some unknown cicada species from Brazil. The following videos feature cicada song belonging to the cicadas we want to identify. We are hoping folks in the cicada research community can help.

Note: All of these cicadas were photographed at Paraibuna, São Paulo. This town is close to the Paraíba Valley (Vale do Paraíba), and to São José dos Campos and Caçapava.

The first cicada Unknown Cicada Song from Brazil sounds like a siren from a science fiction movie:

The second video Unknown cicada song (along with Q. gigas) – Need identification features a Quesada gigas and another cicada. It’s the other cicada we need to identify.

As a reference, here is the song of the Quesada gigas:

View all cicada identification challenges.

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.

October 21, 2012

Things that are not true cicadas

Filed under: Identify | Pop Culture — Dan @ 12:51 pm

Most things in the Universe are not true cicadas. I created a page to point out insects and other animals that people commonly confuse with cicadas, and list people, places, and things named “cicada” that clearly are not cicadas. Read more about: These are Not Cicada Insects!

Like this:

Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club

September 25, 2012

Understanding Broods Using Analogies

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:11 am

Next year (2013) Brood II periodical cicadas will emerge along the eastern coast of North America (see our brood chart for where). You might find yourself wondering, “what is a brood“.

Here is a explanation of broods from Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org):

All periodical cicadas of the same life cycle type that emerge in a given year are known collectively as a single “brood” (or “year-class”). The resulting broods are designated by Roman numerals — there are 12 broods of 17-year cicadas (with the remaining five year-classes apparently containing no cicadas), and 3 broods of 13-year cicadas (with ten empty year-classes).

The concept of periodical cicada broods can be difficult to wrap your mind around, so I wanted to present some analogies to help folks understand what a brood is. Generally speaking, it is important to not anthropomorphize insects, but if it helps you understand what a brood is, we can let it slide…

The Family Reunion analogy

Imagine that each brood is a family, and that each family has a family reunion every 17 years. They also, always, celebrate in the same location.

The next Brood II “family reunion” happens in 2013; their last reunion happened in 1996; and their next reunion will happen in 2030. They always have their reunion in CT, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA and VA — its their favorite restaurant.

The High School Reunion analogy

Imagine that each brood is a high school class, and that class has a reunion every 17 years. They also, always, celebrate in the same location.

The next Brood III “high school reunion” happens in 2014; their last reunion happened in 1997; and their next reunion will happen in 2031. They always have their reunion in IA, IL and MO — their favorite hometown pub.

The Wedding Anniversary analogy

Imagine that a brood is a married couple, and they celebrate their wedding anniversary every 17 years. (Caution: if you’re a human don’t try celebrating your wedding anniversary only every 17 years – you won’t have a happy marriage).

The next time couple Brood IV celebrates their anniversary is 2015; the last time they celebrated their wedding anniversary was 1998; they next time they will celebrate their wedding anniversary will be 2032. They always celebrate in IA, KS, MO, NE, OK and TX — the restaurant where they first met.

Stragglers

Stragglers are periodical cicadas that emerge in years prior to, or after they are expected to emerge — typically 4 years earlier. This male Magicicada should have emerged in 2013, but instead he emerged in 2009 – four years earlier than expected.

We can extend these analogies to cover straggling.

If a periodical cicada shows up four years early to his family or high school reunion, he is not going to have much fun, because few, if any other periodical cicadas will be around to celebrate with. If Mr. Magicicada shows up early or late for a wedding anniversary, he is definitely not going to have any fun.

I think the High School Reunion works best.

Feel free to submit any other analogies in the comments…

September 24, 2012

2012 Brood I Wrap-Up

Filed under: Brood I | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 8:36 am

Brood I, a brood of 17-year Magicicada periodical cicadas, emerged in the spring of 2012 in western Virginia, a small part of eastern West Virginia, and (expected by some, unexpected by others) in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee.

The emergence in Tennessee caught some (myself included) by surprise, because it is not on Brood I maps, but folks in the Tri-Cities area say they expected it. Brood I is known as the Blue Ridge Brood because it exists along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Tri-Cities area of Tennessee falls within the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the nickname of the brood works for Tennessee as well. I’m sure that there will be debate as to whether the Tri-Cities cicadas belong in Brood 1; we’ll know for sure in 2029.

Brood I emerged earlier than expected due to unseasonably warm weather in Virginia. On April 23rd, Barbara Dekorsey reported the following on the Cicada Mania Facebook page: “My kids and I saw periodical cicadas emerging on Blue Ridge Parkway MP 114.9, at the Roanoke River Trailhead (Roanoke, VA). It was wet and cool, and many of them were dead or dying with poorly formed wings.” Unfortunately, the moment when many cicadas began to emerge, the weather switched, greeting cicadas with wet, windy, cold weather, which resulted in cicada deaths and deformities due to harsh weather. Plenty of cicadas emerged unscathed, though, so the brood will live on.

Brood I is a small, but interesting Brood.

More information:

September 23, 2012

The New Forest Cicada Project

Filed under: Cicadetta | England — Dan @ 4:56 pm

I mentioned the New Forest Cicada a few weeks ago. It is the only cicada native to the United Kingdom, but no one has observed it since 2000, so it might be extinct. I hope it is not extinct.

Now there is a team of researchers called The New Forest Cicada Project who plan to use a smartphone app, for your Android or iOS device, to listen for and identify the cicada.

Do you live in England? Are you in the area of the New Forest National Park? If so, make sure you download the app when it’s ready and then next May-July, go listening for the New Forest cicada.

This story was also mentioned in a Guardian UK article.

August 27, 2012

New Forest cicada (Cicadetta montana)

Filed under: Cicadetta | England — Dan @ 4:17 pm

There is only one type of cicada in the United Kingdom, and it is called the New Forest cicada (Cicadetta montana). It is named for the New Forest National Park, where these cicadas can be found in the pasture woodlands. It is both rare and endangered, according to this FAQ, however, according to another website, it might be extinct. It sounds like a small gas motor (in my opinion).

The website ARKive has Five videos of the New Forest cicada, including one featuring cicada larvae still in a tree branch.

Cicadas belonging to the Genus Cicadetta are known as “small grass cicadas”. The New Forest cicada belongs to the same subfamily (Subfamily Cicadettinae) as the Magicicada periodical cicadas that live in the U.S.A.

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