Cicada Mania

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

December 31, 2006

2006 General Cicada Questions

Filed under: Mail, Comments & Social — Dan @ 1:01 am

These questions come from the old General Cicada Questions message board. The questions and answers are in reverse order. URLs found in comments are old and likely do not work.

Hi all Cicada Lovers, I myself love all insects. I have always been interested in insects. I have a website with insect links and photos. Enjoy

Comment by Bill D. — November 17, 2006 [AT] 9:18 am

I live in the Western subs of IL. I have an above ground pool. Will these little guys be a burden? When exactly do they come out and for how long? ew

Comment by Joyce — November 13, 2006 [AT] 8:56 pm

What are the different types of cicades??

Comment by hawill — November 11, 2006 [AT] 9:17 pm

I found this site when searching for cicadas.

There music kind of sounds like cicadas buzzing, at time.

Comment by Amazed — November 1, 2006 [AT] 7:18 am

I want to know what sounds a cicada makes. And do they make sounds 24 hours a day? How long will they make the sounds? I live in Georgia and I keep hearing the high pitch sounds.

Comment by Larry Gunnels — October 26, 2006 [AT] 8:06 pm

I’m posting again to publish my messenger ok…
brunomontanhez [AT] hotmail.com

Comment by Montanhez — October 12, 2006 [AT] 10:23 pm

im a biology student that was seeking for Quesada gigas pictures and then found this place! it’s looks really nice…congratulations
and….there’s any brasilian on this forum?

Comment by Montanhez — October 12, 2006 [AT] 10:21 pm

With these things it’s really the luck of the draw — they might be a no show, or they could make things miserable. It might pay to ask the owners of the property what happened 17 years earlier.

Comment by Dan — October 3, 2006 [AT] 7:57 pm

The wedding ceremony only will be in Willowbrook, IL, southwest of Chicago about 25 miles in our backyard which has trees and shrubs (but house and yard about 6 years old) and surrounded by property that has lots of trees and undisturbed (undeveloped) land. Based on reading the Wedding Planner which I found after posting my question, sounds like you need a sense of humor if you don’t reschedule. Seems it would be very distracting and take away the focus from the ceremony.

Comment by Yola — October 2, 2006 [AT] 2:28 pm

Depends on where the wedding is going to be.

Comment by Dan — October 1, 2006 [AT] 9:39 am

My daughter has planned an outdoor wedding in our backyear for 6/16/07. I think we should reschedule. Any comments?

Comment by Yola — October 1, 2006 [AT] 6:25 am

Chicago’s breed is due in June 2007. They will emerge around June 9 and will last about four weeks.

You can set your clock to that.

Comment by John — September 14, 2006 [AT] 2:19 am

Hi Anjum- your email address does not seem to be correct. Please correct for contact or email to >
David.

Comment by david — September 12, 2006 [AT] 3:03 am

for reserch purpes if need cicada i can provide you onlowest rates from Pakistan about 16 veraities are avail able contect rehmany2k64 at yahoo

Comment by Anjum — September 10, 2006 [AT] 5:28 am

Which month and approximately which week will the brood xiii cicada’s hatch their final molt in Chicago, Illinois?

Comment by Dario — September 4, 2006 [AT] 8:25 am

i didnt know what what outside but it was huge and then we caught it with its prey and there both still alive the the cicada is paralized, my daughter wants to bring it to school to show her science teacher and my question is how can i keep them alive and when with the cicada become un paralized?
thank you
angie
lake charles,louisiana

Comment by angie — September 2, 2006 [AT] 2:47 pm

We were having breakfast this morning on our screen porch and a large, strange bug was sitting on the outside of the screen. I suspected a cicada and a quick web search led me to this site. Sure enough, it’s a magicicada!

The kids and I enjoyed learning about cicada habits, although we’re curious about this particular cicada because it’s so late in the summer and we aren’t due for our cicada cycle until next year (we’re in Hartford, WI). We’ve decided that this one must be a scout.

Comment by The Ohm Family — August 26, 2006 [AT] 8:38 am

I wonder, if I can find frequency distribution of cicada songs.
Thanks for any hints.

Comment by Serge — August 24, 2006 [AT] 8:30 am

I am an insect collector and recently obtained two male cicadas of the same species in Las Vegas. Based on my extensive travels throughout southern Nevada and the Las Vegas area, it literally sounds as if there is only one local cicada species in the area-I only hear one that sounds like a constant buzz saw and no other “songs” of distinctive species. Can anyone out there list the prevalent cicada-genus and species-of the Las Vegas area?

Comment by Jeff Clark — August 23, 2006 [AT] 5:19 pm

I absolutely love the sound of cicadas. I still do, though I’m watching a very creepy “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni” (When the Cicadas Cry). It’s a Japanese horror anime with a deceptively cutesy art style, and cicadas are prominant in the closing credits. The distinctive sounds appear in the soundtrack and now we get a delicious little shiver when evening falls and the cicadas begin their symphony.

But they *are* summer nights (and days) to me!

Comment by Laura — August 23, 2006 [AT] 10:40 am

okay so I KNOW these insects are called cicadas, and I love them dearly — my mother tells me she could hear them singing when I was born (july 25), so for me, hearing them is something akin to the primal scream….

But WHY did we call them “locusts” in Cleveland where I grew up? I don’t think I learned to call them cicadas until I moved to NJ in 10970.

second question: my own personal rule of thumb, based on observation, is that cicadas don’t “sing” unless the temperature outside is 70 F or above — is that true?

Kathy Harsany
cicada (and katydid) fan
Greenwich, CT

Comment by kathy harsany — August 22, 2006 [AT] 12:50 pm

Hi there
i have a diana maple it one year old,two weeks ago the leaves were brown and wilted they were flexable now their crispy and falling.I was told that there could be a fungus.Could there be a fungus,the tree is kept watered.

Comment by Joan Bowers — August 19, 2006 [AT] 9:05 pm

I live in Indianapolis, IN. Why do we have so many cicadas this year? I don’t remember the cicadas being this loud except for a couple of years ago.

Comment by William H — August 19, 2006 [AT] 5:40 pm

I’m so happy to find a site dedicated to this creature! Living in New York City, the cicada has become the sound of summer (along with ice cream truck bells and the drone of air-conditioners.) However, this summer, I’m sad to say, the sound has been absent. Is this part of the 17-year cycle? I can’t remember a summer without the sound of the cicadas each morning and evening. On the hottest days they could even be heard during midday. I’ve lived in NYC 39 years and I’m hoping that no environmental factors have led to their elimination from this area. Please advise.

Comment by Joseph Scrivani — August 9, 2006 [AT] 6:49 am

How do you say this insects name.

Comment by Judy — August 9, 2006 [AT] 1:50 am

We live in upstate New York, just east of Albany. On returning from a seaside vacation the end of July, we noticed a very loud insect sound at dusk, continuing through the wee hours. We have not heard this before, and it is keeping us up all night. My husband thought it might be locusts, so I searched the web and now we think we have them. He said he found a dead one in our yard. Can anyone tell us how long to expect this racket? It is very disruptive. We are new to this.

Comment by Cassandra — July 31, 2006 [AT] 4:33 pm

I need to get a Cicada for Biology and I have no idea where to look. Where might I find one? And when should I look for one?

Comment by Elizabeth — July 18, 2006 [AT] 12:02 am

I found a cicada grub in it’s last instar (I think), where it’s emerged from hte ground as a bronze kind of pupae on legs. It was lost groping around aimlessly on the pavement in the baking sun.
I thought it should be moved into the foliage where it could take to a leaf….so I did just that, but I noticed it had white eyes unlike any others I’d seen (usually having brown or black eyes.
It also seemed very weak. Is it unusual for cicadas in this stage of development, to have white eyes? If so why?

Comment by dan — July 10, 2006 [AT] 12:10 am

Does anyone have any tips for preserving cicadas? I find our local Tibicens rather attractive and would like to “shellac” one. (An already dead one; I’d never kill one! It’s not at all hard to find corpses once summer gets into full swing here in VA.) Do you think I could just use clear-coat enamel, or would that damage the wings?

Comment by Khate — July 2, 2006 [AT] 9:08 am

My girlfriend is from England, and had never had any experience with cicadas, she calls them “screaming bugs”. We are here in missouri, and I never knew that there was a 17 year cycle. Thanks for the site, and info.

Comment by Josh — July 1, 2006 [AT] 7:44 pm

Hi Connor,

There are many different types of Cicadas in the United States. At least 150 different species. Other names that can also mean “cicada” that people say are as follows:

Locust
Dog Day Cicada
Harvest fly
Heat Bug

And even some species of cicadas can have their own nick-names. For instance:

Tibicen chloromera — “The Swamp Cicada”
Tibicen auletes — “The Scissor Grinder”
Tibicen lyricen — “The lyric Cicada”
Magicicada — “17 year locusts”

Hope that helps.
Gerry Bunker
Massachusetts Cicadas
http://www.mechaworx.com/cicada/masscic1.asp

Comment by Gerry — June 29, 2006 [AT] 9:05 pm

I have been asked by my teacher at school to find out another name for cicada. What are cicadas also known as?

Comment by Connor James — June 21, 2006 [AT] 10:40 pm

Hi Dan, Looks as though some useless spam did get through with mesage 66!! To Debbie (67), cicadas do not bite, they suck sap through a “rostrum” (straw) like mozzies. They are quite magnificently constructed and coloured with each species having a distinct song- not too ugly once you get to know them!! Just watch one emerging and you’ll be hooked!

Comment by david — May 30, 2006 [AT] 7:05 pm

do these UGLY creatures bite and if so what needs to be done for treatment. I am in texas

Comment by Debbie — May 28, 2006 [AT] 5:59 pm

Does anyone have information regarding where in Pennsylvania Brood XIV of Magicicada has emerged in the past? I know they’re due back in 2008 and I’d really like to see them. Please email me at BigEdK7 [AT] aol.com if you have any information.
Thank you,
Ed

Comment by Ed — May 22, 2006 [AT] 11:39 am

In school we are studing about the rain forest and Im serching for people to help the rain forest from being burnt and cut down. I know this coment probebly dosen’t mean any thing to you, but it means the world to me. One forth of our rain forest are gone, and they say all the medicans in the world are in the rain forset so we are destorying medicans that we need. Now I bet you don’t care, but seens you like insects I decided to write this letter to you. Thank you for reading it.

Comment by Emily — May 15, 2006 [AT] 2:24 am

Starting a new site, dedicated to the cause. Here in the Chicago area we will be seeing our little friends next June, 2007 and will be putting up images and videos. Until then, the website
http://www.seventeenyearcicada.com
will be up and running.

John

Comment by John — May 12, 2006 [AT] 11:48 pm

Cicadas seem to be pretty rare here in Nova Scotia. I’m looking for a source of cicada “remains” which are intact and in good condition. I am hoping to find 10-20 at least. This is for an arts project.
Only Cicadas who have “ceased to bee” please!

Kevin

Comment by Kevin — April 19, 2006 [AT] 3:47 am

I would have to say they were disturbed under the the trash box. I would think it would be very very unusual to see them this early. you are right, you probibly would not see any until at least late june-july

Comment by Matt — April 14, 2006 [AT] 3:10 pm

I live in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and we are just barely breaking into spring (snow last weekend, this week 20 degrees C in the day, nights around 0). No leaves on trees yet, and grass just barely poking out of the ground.

Today we found about 3 or 4 adult cicadas scattered in the parking lot — most of them squished, but one still feebly moving its legs. I’m assuming they are adults: about 1 1/2 inches long, a dark drab brown, almost looking a bit moldy. There was signs of a large trash box moved in the area, so perhaps they were under it, and were disturbed.

We usually only get cicadas in the hot part of July & August… any ideas what might be going on here?

thanks for helping with the mystery.

jeannine

Comment by jeannine — April 12, 2006 [AT] 8:25 am

What is it about the cicada’s that places them in the classification?

Comment by Chrissy — April 3, 2006 [AT] 12:39 pm

You must be suffering the Amphipsalta zealandica chorus in Feb. someone from Auckland complained on this site last year about thier niose. On hot nights, cicadas can sing at intervals during the night, which drives you crazy. The Aussie greengrocers will sing at about 4hour intervals (dusk, 10pm, 2am and 6am) just in case you want to listen. By the way, many cicadas are attracted to UV lights, especially on warm humid nights.

Comment by david — March 7, 2006 [AT] 2:30 am

btw Im in NZ and that would be understood not understoof sorry!! Im used to cicadas but not this many and they have never done this before, I cant find much info on this kinda thing, there are hundreds of them and driving me crazy at times like 3am :/

Comment by salacity — February 21, 2006 [AT] 4:56 am

Okay so I understoof that cicadas were not attracted to light? however tonight the first night of the couple of weeks they have been around this year they started attacking the windows and they were all over my deck its midnight here and I dont understand whats going on Ive never seen anything like it before, is this normal?

Comment by salacity — February 21, 2006 [AT] 4:54 am

Hi Marty,
The “green grocer” in Australia sings when the temp reaches around 18C, but many small species will not sing unless the sun is shining (no matter what the ambient temp).
David.

Comment by david — February 16, 2006 [AT] 10:43 pm

Does a Cicada start chirping at a certain air temperature? if so what is it?

Comment by Marty — February 12, 2006 [AT] 4:55 pm

December 24, 2006

Green Grocer Emerging

Filed under: Australia | Cyclochila | Molting — Tags: , — Dan @ 3:28 pm

George Dalidakis emailed us this fantastic series of a Green Grocer cicadas (Cyclochila australasiae) emerging from its nymph exoskeleton (molting).

December 5, 2006

An Interview with Gene Kritsky

Filed under: Books | Gene Kritsky | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 4:26 am

Gene’s new book for 2024: A Tale of Two Broods: The 2024 Emergence of Periodical Cicada Broods XIII and XIX book by Dr. Gene Kritsky.

A Tale of Two Broods: The 2024 Emergence of Periodical Cicada Broods XIII and XIX

The 2006 Interview:

Gene Kritsky is one of the foremost and most accessible cicada researchers in North America. His excellent book In Ohio’s Backyard–Periodical Cicadas is a Cicada Mania favorite. Gene’s new book Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle is due out any day now. You should also visit Gene’s web site. Gene was kind enough to answer some of our questions — we hope you enjoy them:

Cicada Mania: There are a mind-boggling variety of insects in the world — why did you choose to focus your studies on cicadas?

Gene Kritsky: I am a student of history. I was first introduced to periodical cicadas by Frank N. Young at Indiana University. I immediately felt that there must be a wealth of information about periodical cicadas that had been overlooked through the years. It was mining that information, coupled with studying their biology that started it all for me.

CM: You have a new book titled Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle "emerging" in books stores soon. How does it differ from your previous cicada book In Ohio’s Backyard–Periodical Cicadas?

GK: The Plague and the Puzzle has a greater focus on history. It includes a long-lost manuscript written in 1716, the first stand-alone published work on periodical cicadas, a terminology timeline, and a review of what has happened in the past 104 years including, including new findings from my lab. In Ohio’s Backyard is a field guide for people wanting to experience the periodical cicadas. It contains activities for teachers and parents to help kids to better appreciate these insects.

CM: What makes Magicicada Brood X different from other emergences?

GK: Brood X is the largest of the 17-year broods. It has a long history going back to 1715. For me personally, I first studied Brood X in 1987 when it emerged in Cincinnati. It gave me the opportunity to set up some experiments that will finally come to completion. It is, therefore, like an old friend coming back to visit.

CM: Will all three 17-year Magicicada species (septendecim, cassini, &
septendecula) emerge this year?

GK: Yes, we are expecting all three species this year.

CM: Have you ever observed animosity between cicadas of different species? What cicada qualities make a male Magicicada more likely to find a mate? Does the guy with the loudest call, have the best chance of passing on his genes?

GK: I have not noticed animosity between the species, but have seen males of the same species compete for females by overlapping their calls. But we must be careful not to give the periodical cicadas human emotions. I think they are simply responding to a genetic cue, and doing what they do best. That being singing, matings, laying eggs, and dying.

CM: Do you think the mayor of Cincinnati should consider replacing the Flying Pig monuments with Cicada monuments?

GK: It is interesting that we have the same mayor this year as we did in 1987. This time, however, the city is getting into the emergence with a greater sense of fun. We are going to have a CD of cicada songs, cicada-free zones, cicada parties, cicada exhibits, t-shirts, jewelry, etc.

CM: Cincinnati is known for its chili restaurants. Know any good cicada chili recipes?

GK: I have not had them in chili, but they should be a nice addition. I personally like them battered and fried with a nice hot mustard sauce.

Periodical Cicadas: the Plague and the Puzzle:

Periodical Cicadas: the Plague and the Puzzle

In Ohio’s Backyard: Periodical Cicadas:

In Ohio's Backyard: Periodical Cicadas

Cicada Wedding Planner

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical | Video — Dan @ 4:09 am

Bride

The most frequently asked question we get is "will cicadas spoil my outdoor wedding"? I guess Al Roker gets the " will it rain on my wedding day" questions? Seriously, most people consider their wedding day the most important day of their life — no wonder they want it to be perfect. I’m no Jennifer
Lopez, but I’ll try to help you plan around these potential wedding crashers.

The Date

Magicicada typically emerge sometime in early May and have expired by the last week of June. When they emerge depends on where you live. Typically, cicadas in northern states emerge later than those in southern states, but you can pretty much count on them being around in May and June. Try the cicada emergence formula to try to estimate when they will emerge in your area.

You can use the chart on our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if Magicicadas are emerging in your state in the year of your wedding.

The Location

There are two things you need to consider: 1) your state and city, and 2) the actual location where the wedding will be held.

Your state and city:

First check the cicada maps!

  • Step 1: Find an actual map of your state and town – you can use Mapquest.
  • Step 2: Find a corresponding cicada brood map. A brood map will tell you where the cicadas will appear in a given year. We have most of the brood maps here.
  • Step 3) compare the brood map with the real map. If the areas match, cicadas may be an issue.

The actual location where the wedding will be held:

The good news is Magicicadas don’t emerge in every yard and every neighborhood. You have to do some research:

  1. Ask the property owners what the last emergence was like. If they weren’t around, knock on a few doors, or go to the library and check the town newspaper. Obviously, if the last emergence was heavy, cicadas may be an issue.
  2. Does the property have no trees, some trees, or is it like a forest? Cicadas love trees, especially deciduous trees (like oaks, maples) and fruit trees. If there are plenty of trees in the yard or the surrounding yards, cicadas may be an issue.

Do’s

  1. Consider renting a hall. Sure, grandma’s yard is pretty,
    but nothing beats peace of mind — and it might rain anyway.
  2. If you’re set on having an outdoor wedding rent a big tent. Definitely, have a tent for the ceremony and guests. Remember, it has to fit the band as well. You might also consider renting a second tent for the food area.
  3. Music. Cicadas are loud, and you will hear them, but good PA systems (like those DJs use), and bands are louder. A small stereo might not be loud enough.
  4. The food. Don’t bring it out until it’s time to eat, and keep it covered. Your caterer should have some ideas as well — like serve the food inside the house, or under a tent. Cicadas have no interest in human food, but one might fall out of a tree and into the potato salad.
  5. Educate your guests: Let them know that cicadas don’t sting like bees. Let them know they’ll be around for the length of the party.
  6. Clean up: Cicadas leave skins behind — you may have to clean up before the wedding. A shop vac works fine.
  7. Make a game of it. Kids love bugs: have some containers around for the kids to collect the cicadas in. It’s something they’ll never forget.
  8. Bring your sense of humor, and relax. Like rain, there’s not much you can do about it. If the property is full of cicadas, get set for some hilarious pictures.
  9. Bagpipes are effective at drowning out cicadas.

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t Use pesticide. You’ll only stink up the yard, and make the guests sick. Plus, cicadas are flyers — the cicadas from the neighbor’s yard will fly right into yours.
  2. Don’t Panic. They’re only bugs, and while they look fearsome and have hard body parts, they don’t bite and sting like bees and flies do.

What you can expect

  1. The bodies of dead cicadas littering the ground.
  2. The constant hum of cicada song.
  3. An occasional cicada landing on a guest. Guests screaming.
  4. An occasional cicada crawling on a table, chair, barbecue.

I speak from personal experience. In 1996 friends of mine had an outdoor wedding in the midst of a cicada emergence. The yard was filled with tall oak trees (which cicadas love) — and plenty of cicadas as well. Cicada shells littered the ground near the base of trees. You could hear the cicadas hum the whole time, but they didn’t drown out the music (a classic quartet, and a DJ later on). An occasional cicada landed on a guest, and you could see a few crawling on lawn chairs, but everyone seemed to take it in stride and the kids loved them. The cicadas only made the event even more memorable.

On the other hand, my sister thinks the cicadas “pretty much destroyed the wedding”, so maybe you should rent a hall after all.

Lastly, here’s some scenes from a cicada infested wedding I attended in 1996:

Scenes from a Cicada Wedding – Brood II 1996 from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Good Luck!

— Dan

December 2, 2006

Steel versus the Giant Cicadas

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 9:48 am

A great moment in comic book history: Steel versus the Giant Cicadas (Absorbascon blog).

Hilarious.

Thanks to Spandex Justice for unearthing this gem.

November 17, 2006

Melanie Chang’s Magicicada Photos

Filed under: Brood X | Magicicada — Dan @ 4:51 am

Here’s some nostalgia for you: Brood X photos from Burke, VA, June 2004, taken by Melanie Chang.

Click the images for a larger version.

Brood X photos from Burke, VA

Brood X photos from Burke, VA

November 14, 2006

The 9 on Yahoo!

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 10:11 pm

This goes to show how oblivious I am in general: Cicada Mania was featured on The 9 on Yahoo! last week. I watch The 9 on my lunch break, so I don’t know how I missed it. Thanks Yahoo!

the 9

November 12, 2006

Side views of N. pruinosus and M. figuratus

Filed under: Cryptotympanini | Megatibicen | Neotibicen | Paul Krombholz | Tibicen — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:06 pm

Tibicen season is officially over in central Mississippi. Here’s some great side view photos from Paul Krombholz.

Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus (Say, 1825):
N. pruinosus

Megatibicen figuratus (Walker, 1858):
M. figurata

Cicadaville

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 6:54 pm

Back in 2004 there was a cicada humor site called Cicadaville. It was a funny site, for sure, but they drove me crazy because people would believe their “Cicadas kill Save yourself” slogan and then ask me how they could protect themselves.

Here’s an example of their humor:

FACT: Cicadas are vicious killers.

FACT: Cicadas prey on innocent children and pets.

FACT: Cicadas are seething with deadly venom and flesh-eating bacteria.

FACT: This year Cicadas will kill more people than snakes, spiders, scorpions, and sharks combined!

You can still see some of the site via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and here’s another version (found on 1/20/21). The funny people behind the Cicadaville site have another humor site called Derf Magazine. Check it out.

November 6, 2006

A Quick Thanks

Filed under: Pop Culture — Dan @ 8:53 am

Thanks to Metafilter, Mirth, Musings, & More and Site of the Day for an unexpected burst of visitors. Normally the site is sleeping at this time of year.

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