Cicada Mania

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May 2, 2021

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes

Filed under: Brood X | Chimneys | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:19 pm

Different types of Magicicada periodical cicada holes found in Princeton, NJ. Brood X, 2021. Generally speaking, their holes are about the size of a dime. You won’t see a spray or kickback of soil around the hole like you would when an animal is digging into the soil rather than coming out of it (cicadas are coming out).

Typical dime-sized cicada holes

Typical Holes

A hole with a corresponding mini cicada-chimney

Here's a hole and cap

A golf ball sized chimney over a hole

Mud Golf Ball

A hole borrowed into a hay bale laying on the ground

Hole in Hay

A hole in moss

A hole in moss

Holes in the underside of a rotten log, with a nymph!

Cicadas will burrow up from the soil of the ground and keep going into the rotting wood of a rotten log! I had to roll the log over to see it.
Holes in a Log

The inside view of a 4″ cicada chimney


Video of a Nymph

April 19, 2021

17-year cicada cross word puzzle

Filed under: Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 6:02 pm

Want to try a 17-year cicada crossword puzzle? It isn’t easy.

Download a large version of the image with the hints. Or use the one on this page:

Cicada Cross Word Puzzle

2. Two of them are…
7. Mistaken identity
8. Soil temperature sampler
10. Insect Singers site
11. The cicada’s old outfit
13. Where you’ll find the arches.
15. Keep a lid on it.
17. Longest lifecycle.
22. Ohio expert
24. Five.
27. Never on time.
28. A delicious drink.
29. I’m seeing red.
30. Grill.
31. 5 steps.
33. Final form.
35. Seven is the smallest.

1. Un-popped collar.
3. Four to get off the Floor.
4. A “cool” cicada expert.
5. Three of Five.
6. Youngsters.
9. Plates
12. A rare color.
14. Nest knife.
16. Pitch shifter
18. Left Connecticut forever
19. Drum kit.
20. Amphetamine fungus.
21. Cicada banners.
23. Keep hanging on.
25. Mr. Softy.
26. Just six of these.
32. Beak.
34. Connecticut lab leader

Answers are here.

I used the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker to create this.

April 18, 2021

Cicada Mania BINGO for Brood X 2021

Filed under: Cicada Mania | Magicicada | Periodical — Dan @ 5:48 am

Here’s something fun: Cicada Mania BINGO. Use this BINGO card to keep track of everything you see, hear or do in context to the Brood X emergence. Here’s a PDF version. Tips below the image of the card:

Cicada Mania


  1. Pictures of cicada Holes and Chimneys
  2. Magicicada septendecim photos & song
  3. A cicada with white eyes
  4. Cicadas with blue and yellow eyes
  5. Video of Cicada Nymphs at Night
  6. Cicadas with Massospora cicadina fungus infections
  7. Magicicada septendecula photos & songs
  8. Cicada eggs and young nymphs
  9. Are cicadas safe to eat?
  10. Magicicada cassini photos & songs
  11. Video of a cicada laying eggs
  12. Links to the Cicada Safari app.
  13. Cicada songs, including Choruses
  14. Wing Flicks Videos

I’ll probably do a version for summertime cicadas too.

Periodical cicada nymphs emerging at night

Filed under: Brood XIII | Magicicada | Molting | Nymphs | Periodical — Tags: — Dan @ 5:29 am

One of the most fun periodical cicada experiences is watching thousands of nymphs emerge from the ground at night, crawl to the nearest vertical surface (hopefully a tree) and begin to molt.

This is a video by Roy Troutman from 2007 of the Brood XIII emergence, specifically in Ryerson Woods in Illinois:

Observing magicicada emergence at Ryerson Woods from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

Here’s a time-lapse video, also by Roy, of a cicada nymph molting:

Magicicada nymph molting from Roy Troutman on Vimeo.

April 17, 2021

Magicicada wing flicks

Filed under: Magicicada | Sounds — Dan @ 7:59 pm

Female Magicicada cicadas do not sing, but they do make a sound by flicking their wings. These percussive wing flicks get the attention of male cicadas and it compels them to sing their court songs in response.

Here’s a video of a female cicada flicking her wings:

A video of a group of female cicadas flicking their wings in a tree:

You can fool male cicadas into thinking a finger snap is a wing flick. Here’s a video of a male cicada calling in response to fake wing flicks:

New Book: The Cicadas Are Coming!: Invasion of the Periodical Cicadas!

Filed under: Books — Dan @ 10:39 am

A new photo-illustrated periodical cicada book for kids will be available on April 26th: The Cicadas Are Coming!: Invasion of the Periodical Cicadas! by Doug Wechsler. I haven’t see it yet, but it looks promising.

It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


When a million bugs come out of the ground at once, children pay attention. Periodical cicadas don’t disappoint. Almost every animal in the area fills its stomach. Then after a month the feast and the cacophony suddenly stops.

This book is about one of the oddest insect life cycles on the planet the periodical or 17-year cicada.

The beautiful photographs and engaging text bring to life every aspect of this insect’s life from a unique view of the eggs inside a twig, to its transformation to the noisiest insect around. Author Doug Wechsler, once again, brings the natural world into focus for children.

Cicadas are Coming

April 5, 2021

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion

Filed under: Books — Dan @ 8:04 pm

Got another kids book about cicadas:

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion by Kenton Hill. It’s on and other book stores.

It is a story about a boy, a girl, a grandpa (who is an entomologist), thousands of cicadas, and lots of other hungry critters. Along with the fun story (including an exciting dream scene) are several pages of scientific information in kid language to help them understand and appreciate these amazing insects.

Buzzy and the Little Critters: A Curious Tale of a Cicada Invasion

March 29, 2021

Snappy Cicada Pizza Jingles

Filed under: Eating Cicadas | Music — Dan @ 6:53 pm

There’s a pizza restaurant chain in the Cincinnati area called Snappy Tomato Pizza that occasionally runs commercials for Snappy Cicada Pizza. It’s a joke of course. Or is it? Maybe they’ll do it again in 2021.

Listen to the songs:

Dr. Chordate’s Periodical Cicada Graduation Song

Filed under: Magicicada | Music — Dan @ 6:41 pm

Have a listen to Dr. Chordate’s Periodical Cicada Graduation Song, with an intro by Dr. Chordate. “This is a graduation song: the larvae of the 17-year periodic cicada finally emerge from the ground to transform into adults.”

March 28, 2021

Brood X Cicadas in Long Island? Let’s find them

Filed under: Brood X — Dan @ 7:09 pm

Cicada on LI

Elias Bonaros found cicadas in 2021 in Bohemia County Park and East Setauket.

Brood X periodical cicadas will emerge this spring (May) in the eastern U.S. — hopefully in Long Island as well. Chris Simon asked me to post this on the site. Brood X cicadas were hard to find in Long Island on 2004 — so we really want to find so, and how Long Islanders can help. Report cicadas with the Cicada Safari app.

Brood X may have breathed its last breath on Long Island! Or maybe not. This year may in fact reveal localities that we missed in 2004. It may capture people’s imagination just like the hunt for the last Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Arkansas or the last Tasmanian Tiger in Tasmania.

Brood X cicadas were previously found on Long Island and it is unclear whether they are extinct or not! We are hoping to advertise the Cicada Safari app to your readers so they can help us find Brood X.

Attached is the Newsday article from 2004 that describes the previous Brood X emergence. Sites include Shirley, and Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale (Northeast section), and Ronkonkoma.

This locality info for Long Island is from the appendix of Simon and Lloyd 1982, J. N.Y. Ent. Soc.

It documents the historical decline of Brood X on Long Island as follows…

1902: Davis (1920) quoted the eighteenth report of the N.Y. State entomologist (1902. p. 113) as follows, “The insects were observed… at Wantagh. Nassau Co., also between Massapequa and Amityville, between Sayville and Oakdale, east of Patchogue to Brookhaven and also to the north of Medford and Holtsville, and a small brood [sic] northeast of Riverhead, all in Suffolk Co.” Davis (1907) reported that although a friend had seen hundreds of exuviae of the 17 -year locust in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. he had only obtained three adults and he “attributed their scarcity to the English Sparrow.”

1919: The New York Times of June 17th, 1919 (p. 25:3) talked with farmers in the vicinity of Farmingdale, Bethpage, and Massapequa who reported thousands of cicadas doing damage to fruit trees and other hardwoods. Old residents claimed that 17 years before they were not nearly so numerous. Daviis (1919) recorded” 1 7 -year cicadas singing at Mastic, L.L during the first week of June.” In another publication (Davis 1920) he noted them as occurring on South Country Road just cast of Carman’s River, and in the woods just east of Patchogue; also from Wantagh to Farmingdale and as far north as Central Park on Long Island; finally, north and east of Massapequa railroad station.

1936: The New York Times (June 12, 1936, p. 4:7) reported that the cicadas were found “first in Carmen Ave., Farmingdale … since then the swarms have been reported at Massapequa, and all through Suffolk scrub oak along the Motor Parkway from Medford westward to Farmingdale.” They were also seen along the Sunrise Highway in Massapequa Park.

1970: Newsday (June 5, 1970, p. 12) lists two exact localities Skylark Drive (Holtsville) and Springdale Drive (Ronkonkoma). They explained that “officials of the State Conservation Department and County Agricultural Extension Service said … that they have received hundreds of complaints this month about the insects. Most of the calls have come from an area including Ronkonkoma, Holtsville, Islip, and Sayville. where the influx is concentrated.” The same newspaper (June 23. 1970) reported 17-year cicadas in Bohemia on eighth Street near the South Side Sportsman’s preserve. They must have been abundant because “50 Bohemia residents … signed petitions appealing for help to fight the alarming problem of swarming cicada locusts [sic].”

Other, more recent, records…

1987: Suffolk Co. Long Island. Chris Simon and her student Andrew Martin collected periodical cicadas at Bohemia Equestrian Park in Oakdale and in Shirley.

2004: Suffolk Co. Long Island. Bryn Nelson of Newsday reports that periodical cicadas, “made only cameo appearances this year — first in East Setauket and later in Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale….Particularly vexing is the sputter at Connetquot, which reported masses of cicadas in its northeastern section both in 1987 and in 1970. Gary Lawton, a regional environmental education coordinator for New York State Parks, reported hearing a few cicadas at the park about three weeks ago….But after a few days, the calling abruptly stopped.” Residents of Shirley near the South Shore of Long Island, who saw them in 1987, did not see an emergence in their yards in 2004.

Some more locations from 1987 compiled by Thomas Kowalsick of the Cooperative Extension of Cornell University (specific addresses redacted):

Loughlin Drive, Shirley, NY
Happy Acres Drive, Shirley, NY
Malba Drive, Shirley, NY
Windus Drive, Shirley, NY
Peconic Street, Ronkonkoma, NY
Springdale Drive, Ronkonkoma, NY
Julia Goldback Avenue, Ronkonkoma, NY
Goldbach Avenue, Bohemia, NY
Connetquot River State Park, Oakdale, NY
Mayflower Lane, Setauket, NY


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