Cicada Mania

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

May 3, 2008

Matt Berger’s Cicada Experiment Continues

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Matt Berger — Dan @ 8:11 am

Earlier I wrote about Matt Berger’s experiment to coerce a nymph to emerge as an adult in captivity. The experiment worked.

Here’s the latest pictures. The cicada has assumed its final, black-colored adult form:

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May 2, 2008

C.L. Marlatt’s Periodical Cicada bulletin online

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 4:35 am

The USDA National Agriculture Library has published the full 148 page bulletin from 1898 titled The periodical cicada: an account of Cicada septendecim, its natural enemies and the means of preventing its injury : together with a summary of the distribution of the different broods.

The document is viewable as images or in PDF form, and features an abundance of information, and excellent, now public domain illustrations (like those below).

Illustration from Marlatt

Illustration from Marlatt

April 30, 2008

The first adult Magicicada

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Matt Berger | Periodical — Dan @ 9:28 pm

Matt Berger was able to coerce a cicada nymph to enter the adult phase (instar) by raising it indoors (where it is warmer). Congratulations to Matt!

I took a Brood XIV nymph i found under a rock about a week ago, put some soil in a pot, poked a cicada sized hole in the soil and let the cicada burrow in. I wanted to see if I could make them emerge early. I put it in my house where it is warm. It worked! I now have a male (im guessing M. cassini) that just emerged from that hole and shed his skin and is now drying. Probably the first Magicicada to emerge all year! Earliest emergence I have ever heard of (even if it was assisted). Thought it might be interesting for Cicadamania.
Here are some pictures!

Here’s the nymph:

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Here’s the adult leaving the nymph skin:

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Here’s the teneral adult, still white in color (I will turn black soon enough):

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17 year cicada emergence predictions

Filed under: Brood XIV — Dan @ 5:46 pm

Hey everybody!

Using Gene Kritsky’s formula, and the Weather Underground, I’ve pulled together some sample emergence predictions. Chances are I missed your town, but you can use the formula and gab your own prediction.

Louisville Kentucky – May 11th

Lexington Kentucky – May 15th

Cincinnati & Batavia Ohio – May 15th*

Charleston West Virginia – May 11th

Bendersville, PA – May 15th

Islip & Stony Brook, LI — May 16th

Plymouth, MA – May 22

Falmouth, MA – May 24

Looks like the cicadas will start appearing a couple at a time next week, and then starting the following week the full-blow emergences will begin in the southern most states.

* Note: Gene Kritsky wrote to say that he has predicted May 13th for Cincinnati using his formula. The reason the numbers differ is Gene has more precise temperature information.

April 29, 2008

Brood XIV Information Update

Filed under: Brood XIV — Dan @ 3:56 am

Read: Gene’s Book Periodical Cicadas: the Plague and the Puzzle is available through his website. I own it, and can confirm that it’s the best 17 year cicada book your money can buy. It has all the information you need, and it will make a handsome addition to your home library.

Report an emergence: the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) reporting form is live.

The cicadas making the latest appearance are Brood XIV. Brood XIV is centered on the eastern two-thirds of Kentucky, although they are also in 11 other state

April 27, 2008

Cicada Links and Video to hold you over… part two

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 8:07 am

Gene Kritsky awaiting their noisy return:

UPI: Scientist awaits cicadas’ noisy return

Gene Kritsky, a professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph, said this year most of the bugs are expected to appear in the area east of Interstate 71.

The Enquirer Cicadas making noisy return

Gene Kritsky, a professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph, says in a news release that cicadas are coming to eastern Cincinnati this May.

Video:

NECN.com: Cicada pheomenon interview with entomologist Doug Fraser. Very good.

A Kentucky article:

News Channel 5: Cicadas ready to reappear in Kentucky after 17 years

Gene Kritsky, a cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, says their appearance will be spotty. That could be caused by a number of factors, including development that has dramatically changed landscapes since the early 1990s.

A Cape Cod artlce:

Cape Cod Times: Creeped out by creepy-crawly season on Cape

Periodical cicadas went underground on the Cape 17 years ago, and have been living off tree sap ever since. Experts expect them to emerge from their holes all at once, probably on a night in early May. They can number in the millions per acre, and cling to any vertical surface after coming from their holes, to molt, then fly up into the tree tops to mate.

April 24, 2008

Is the soil 65 degrees yet?

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 8:07 pm

Hey folks, The Mount’s Cicada Web Site is monitoring the ground temperature in the Cincinnati area. Today it was up to 59.8ºF. Why is that important you ask? Well, once the soil temperature hits 65ºF (8″/20cm deep) the cicadas will emerge. Just 5ºF to go, and yes, cicadas will emerge from sunny areas before shaded areas because the soil will be warmer. (thanks Gene)

BTW, the Cincinnati press is finally catching on that another emergence is about to happen (I think they’re a bit jaded from Brood X).

April 23, 2008

Cicada Links and Video to hold you over…

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 5:51 pm

Here’s a video news cast from YouTube called Cicadas invade CapeCast. I assume “Cape” refers to Cape Cod. Good information in video form.

Charleston Daily Mail: After 17 years, cicadas set to reappear for a few noisy weeks:

Cicadas will start appearing in southern West Virginia – including much of Kanawha County – starting in May. They have black bodies about an inch and a half long, red beady eyes and a shrill song.

Cape Cod Times: Cicadas stage return after 17 years :

“They’re a phenomenon,” said Miller, the golf course superintendent at The Golf Club at Southport in Mashpee. His job is all about controlling bugs, but Miller sees no harm done by the cicadas who feed on watery tree sugars.

Penn.com: Scientists abuzz about cicadas:

“The amazing thing is that there have not been very good records kept on Brood XIV in Pennsylvania,” said Marten Edwards, an entomologist at Allentown’s Muhlenberg College.

Edwards is among a team of insect experts planning to use Global Positioning Systems to document this year’s emergence. National Geographic is supporting the work through a grant to the University of Connecticut, university biology professor John Cooley said.

Evansville Courier & Press Cicada season Red-eyed insects scheduled to appear in late April:

It may be extra noisy around trees located across Kentucky this year due to Brood XIV of the Periodical Cicada. All of Kentucky, except for the Purchase Areas, should expect some activity from the periodical cicada this year.

Towers: Seasonal cicadas to infiltrate Southern Seminary in May :

Once every 17 years a species of periodical cicada pop out of the ground in numbers too big to be ignored, often at densities of 10,000 to 100,000 per acre.

Home and Garden with John Marra: The Cicada: Nature’s Pruning Machine. Includes video!!!

First of all, how would you like for someone to come to your landscape and prune your trees free of charge? That’s not a chance happening but something that will happen whether or not you agree.

The free pruning service will be in the form of insects. Yep, I said insects, more specifically the 17 Year Periodical Cicada or Locust as some people call them.

Kentucky.com: Cicadas begin cyclic racket:

We’ve had drought and floods, and now, a plague of locusts.

OK, the billions of noisy, red-eyed teenagers emerging soon from the ground beneath your feet aren’t really locusts, although they often are mistakenly called that.

Periodical Cicadas is a classic cicada website that explains most of the information you need to know all in one page, with lots of great photos. It’s one of my favorites.

and

Regardless of the fact that there are not periodical cicadas emerging in the Chicago area this year, the Chicago Cicadas blog is still tracking them.

Cicada nymphs, chimneys and holes

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada | Periodical | Roy Troutman — Dan @ 5:12 pm

Here are some new photos from Roy Troutman that will give you a good idea of what to look for when searching for signs of cicadas in your yard:

This is a pair of Magicicada nymphs, much like you might find when gardening or turning over logs or stones in your yard.

Magicicada nymphs

See those beige globs of soil amongst the leaves and debris? Those are called cicada chimneys. They are a sure sign that a cicada nymph is below the soil, and will emerge in a few days or weeks.

Magicicada chimneys

Look closely at this picture and you’ll see holes in the ground. Those are holes that cicada nymphs have dug, and they’re another sure sign of where a cicada will emerge.

Cicada holes

On May 1st we’ll start making predictions as to when they’ll start to emerge.

April 19, 2008

Reporting your cicada sightings

Filed under: Brood XIV | Magicicada — Dan @ 9:20 am

You can play an important role this year in documenting the Brood XIV 17 year cicada emergence. Brood maps are built using data from scientists and people like you. This year we have an opportunity to build a better Brood XIV map, but the scientists who collect the data will need your help.

Where to post your sightings

The two main web sites where you will be able to post your sightings this year are:

Both sites promise to feature interfaces that will easily allow you to enter your sighting.

Where else:

In the Massachusetts area (and beyond): Massachusetts Cicadas (Jerry Bunker).

In the Mid-Atlantic region: Cicadas.info.

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