Cicada Mania

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July 15, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: B

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 10:29 pm

B is for Brood. Here’s the basics:

Marlatt 1907 10 Brood X Magicicada cicadas are American periodical cicadas that have 17 or 13 year life cycles. There are 12 groups of Magicicadas with 17 year life cycles, and 3 groups of Magicicadas with 13 year life cycles. Each of these groups emerge in a specific series of years, rarely overlapping (17 year groups co-emerge every 289 years). Each of these groups emerge in the same geographic area their parents emerged. These groups, each assigned a specific Roman numeral, are called broods.

Two examples:

Brood X (X is the Roman numeral for 10), emerges every 17 years, in DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, & WV. The last time Brood X emerged was in 2004, and it will emerge again in 2021.

Brood XIX (19) emerges every 13 years, in AL, AR, GA, IN, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VA. The last time Brood XIX emerged was 1998, and it will emerge next in 2011 (NEXT YEAR)!

When is the next Brood emerging in your area? Consult the Brood Chart.

I’ve only scraped the surface about the who, why, when, where and how of Broods. If you want to learn more I highly recommend Gene Kritsky’s book Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle. There are also online resources such as Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly, which has updated brood maps, and Cicada Central.

More cicada alphabet:

  • The Bagpipe Cicada, aka Lembeja paradoxa, is an Australian cicada known for its huge, bag-like abdomen. Here is a photo of the amazing Bagpipe Cicada. You can find this cicada in North-Eastern Australia.
  • The beak or rostrum of a cicada is the structure cicadas to pierce plants and drink the plant fluids:

  • Blue Moon cicadas exist in Australia and belong to the species Cyclochila australasiae. The interesting thing about Blue Moons is that they’re blue because they lack the yellow pigment necessary to make them green. When they’re green they’re called Green Grocers. Here is a gorgeous photo of a Blue Moon.
  • Cystosoma saundersii aka Bladder Cicada is a species of Australian cicada known for its large, green abdomen. See a photo of of a C. saundersii and behold its bladder-like belly.
  • Gerry Bunker is a cicada researcher and owner of the content-rich Massachusetts Cicadas website, and the Entomology – Cicadidae Yahoo! Group.
  • The Bush Cicada aka Tibicen dorsatus (formerly Tibicen dorsata) is an annual cicada that exists primarily in the Mid-West. Here’s a few Bush Cicada photos. This cicada is aka Giant Grassland Cicada and Golden Annual Cicada. Visit the Annual Cicadas of Arkansas site for more information.

July 12, 2010

Cicada Alphabet: A

Filed under: Cicada Alphabet — Dan @ 7:47 pm

A is for antennae. Cicadae antennae are situated between their eyes and their clypeus. Insects use their antennae to smell and sense touch, temperature, and vibration.


Abricta curvicosta: The Abricta curvicosta is an Australian cicada also known as the Floury Baker (because its abdomen appears to be floury). You can find this cicada in eastern Australia. Here’s a photo of an A. curvicosta:
Floury Baker by Michelle Thompson
Floury Baker by Michelle Thompson.

Visit Brisbane cicadas for more photos, information and audio.

Ambragaeana ambra: The Ambragaeana ambra is a cicada that can be found in Thailand. This cicada has remarkable brown, yellow, orange and black colored wings. Here’s a photo of an Ambragaeana ambra:
ambragaeana ambra photo by Michel Chantraine
Ambragaeana ambra photo by Michel Chantraine.

Angamiana floridula: The Angamiana floridula is a cicada that can be found in Thailand. This cicada has orange, brown & cream colored wings. Here’s a photo of an Angamiana floridula.
angamiana floridula photo by Michel Chantraine
Angamiana floridula photo by Michel Chantraine.

Arunta perulata: The Arunta perulata is an Australian cicada also know as the White Drummer. This cicada can be found in eastern Australia. They’re known for their pronounced sack-like tymbal covers (the white drums?). Here’s a photo of an Arunta perulata:
White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata). Photo by David Emery.
White Drummer cicada (Arunta perulata). Photo by David Emery.

Visit the CSIRO website for more information and an illustration.

Ayuthia spectabile: The Ayuthia spectabile is a cicada than can be found in Thailand. This cicada’s coloration features cream, light brown, black and mint green. Here’s a photo of an Ayuthia spectabile:
Female Ayuthia spectabile

To learn more about Australian cicadas, try the book Australian Cicadas by M.S. Moulds, or online at Brisbane Cicadas.

This is the start of a new feature on Cicada Mania called the Cicada Alphabet.

July 8, 2010

Hot weather means cicadas emerge sooner? Most likely.

Filed under: Neocicada | Tibicen — Dan @ 7:56 am

Temperature is a factor influencing when cicadas will emerge from the earth and enter the adult phase of their lives. Cicadas like warm weather (as do most insects) and so once the soil & air reaches a temperature that pleases the cicadas, they will likely emerge. There are other factors of course, but hotter weather usually means cicadas will emerge sooner than later.

The spring and summer of 2010 have been HOTTER than usual in the mid-Atlantic area of the United States, and so species of cicadas are emerging earlier than expected. Since June first, I’ve witnessed, 32 days above 80F(27C), and 11 days above 90F(32C), in New Jersey, which is warmer than usual.

Annual cicada species like the Tibicen species and Neocicada hieroglyphica have been emerging sooner than expected. has reports of Neocicada hieroglyphica, Tibicen lyricen and T. tibicen (T. chloromera) emerging sooner than expected. I’ve been hearing T. linnei in New Jersey since June.

Massachusetts Cicadas
is reporting a slow start for Tibicen. Massachusetts is a New England state and is typically cooler than Mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, but that might not be the only factor at work here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

What else…

The temperature will also affect when a cicada will sing: if it’s too cold cicadas won’t sing, and if it’s too hot the poor over-heated cicadas won’t sing. This is why you won’t hear some annual cicadas singing on a cool day, or when it’s near 100F(38C). This depends on the species too; some species like it HOT, and some like it cool.

I’ve also heard that temperature can affect the frequency of a cicada’s song, however, there is not a formula that allows to you determine the temperature based on the pauses in a cicada’s call like there is for crickets.

July 1, 2010

Okanagana rimosa nymph skins

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Okanagana | Proto-periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 10:20 pm

The Okanagana rimosa, also known as Say’s Cicada, is a cicada that can be found in the USA in northern states east of the Rockies, like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and all New England states. Say’s cicada can also be found in the Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba provinces of Canada.

Say’s Cicada is black and orange; orange legs, orange markings on its mesonotum, and orange bands around most segments of its body. Here’s a photo of an adult:

Okanagana rimosa photo by Natasha from 2005.

A few weeks ago Elias Bonaros sent us some photos of the exuvia (shed skins) of Okanagana rimosa nymphs that he found while searching for cicadas in Western Massachusetts with Gerry from Massachusetts Cicadas. It’s interesting that the black bands that appear around the segments of the nymph’s body are where we see orange bands in the adult form.

Side view

Say’s cicada has a fantastic call that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Visit the Insect Singers website to hear the call of a Okanagana rimosa.

An interesting note about the Okanagana rimosa, it has been showed to have a 9 year life cycle, and appears to be protoperiodical:

“Soper et al (112) showed experimentally that Okanagana rimosa had a life
cycle of 9 years, and that in the field during a 9-year period (1962 to
1970) it was extremely abundant in 4 years and scarce or absent in the
other 5. Heath (32) also studied cicadas of the genus Okanagana and
found several species that appear to be protoperiodical.”


Magicicada Discussions from 2010

Note: no major broods emerged in 2010.

I wanted to mention that I heard several Periodicals(cassini) in blue springs around the first week of June. Maybe a total of about 15 0r 20 in 2 trees.

Comment by Steve Karan — July 1, 2010 [AT] 2:01 pm

Heard a cassini singing in the trees for about 45 minutes today in Loveland. It was finally sunny and warm enough for it after 7 days of cool weather.

Comment by Roy Troutman — May 22, 2010 [AT] 6:15 pm

May 15, 2010 M cassini, Milford, OH (Cincinnati)

Comment by Jennifer Taylor — May 14, 2010 [AT] 7:53 am

I forgot to mention that the greenway is located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The largest concentration of cicadas was observed between the 3-mile and 3.25-mile markers (between Johnston Rd and Hwy 51). Also, several adults had the Massospora cicadina fungal disease.

Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 6:05 am

I observed a small emergence of one year early stragglers of Brood XIX on Monday, May 10. There were several dozen calling along a one mile stretch of the Lower McAlpine Greenway. The emergence appeared to be entirely Magicicada tredecassini. Interestingly, the emergence occurred in a floodplain forest. Good numbers of exuviae were observed on wetland shrubs and grasses and numerous live adults were on the ground and flying between trees. Several grackles were seen eating the cicadas and yellow-billed cuckoos and great-crested flycatchers were also in the area and were extremely vocal.

Comment by Lenny Lampel — May 11, 2010 [AT] 5:59 am

June 17, 2010

Neocicada hieroglyphica

Filed under: Leptopsaltriini | Matt Berger | Neocicada — Tags: — Dan @ 5:25 am

Here’s a cool photo of a Neocicada hieroglyphica aka Hieroglyphic Cicada (named for the shapes on its back) found by Matt Berger on top of a rocky ridge in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky.

Neocicada hieroglyphica

Read all posts featuring Neocicada photos and video.

June 11, 2010

Can you ID this cicada from Malaysia

Filed under: Identify — Dan @ 11:25 am

Big cicada – close-up, originally uploaded by Jellyfish57.

Sophie too this photo of a cicada in Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia. Can you ID it? I’m going to take a look at my books this weekend.

June 6, 2010

Lucky Cicada Keychain packaging

Filed under: Lucky Cicada Key Chain | Toys and Amusements — Dan @ 8:51 am

Ben from Quebec emailed us photos of the packaging for the Lucky Cicada Keychain (Toy, Keyring).

Here a picture of my toy cicada package. I bought it at Discovery Island (now closed), a former small theme park of Walt Disney World back in 1993.
Ben (QC)

Lucky Cicada

Lucky Cicada

May 30, 2010

Magicicada in Kansas

Filed under: Brood IV — Dan @ 9:24 am

Paul Stubbs wrote us to let us know that periodical cicada stragglers are emerging early in Kansas. Based on the locations and date (1998), it sounds like these are Brood IV emerging 5 years early. Very interesting.

Hi, just wanted to inform you that periodicals are emerging in northeastern Kansas as well. I live in Osawatomie, KS and have heard a few here. I have heard and seen them in Paola, KS at my parents home. Our last big event was in ’98 so these many stragglers are fairly impressive.
We are located approximately 30 miles south of Kansas City. And BTW, thanks for a great website for cicada fans!!

Paul Stubbs

brood iv

Brood III or Brood XIX

Filed under: Brood III | Brood XIX — Dan @ 9:10 am

Here’s the old maps (from C.L. Marlatt’s The Periodical Cicada from 1907) for Brood III or Brood XIX. Brood III is a 17-year Magicicada due to emerge in 2014, and Brood XIX is a 13-year Magicicada due to emerge in 2011. It looks like stragglers (periodical cicadas emerging years in advance of when they’re supposed to emerge) in Iowa would be Brood III, and those emerging in Missouri are probably Brood XIX, and possibly Brood III in the north of Missouri. If you find some, take photos, video of their song, etc.

Over the past 100+ years, these maps have been updated, and you can find the updated maps on sites like or Cicada Central.

Brood III

Brood XIX

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