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July 3, 2021

Magicicada cassinii photos from Brood X

Filed under: Brood X | Magicicada | Periodical — Tags: , — Dan @ 10:47 pm

Here are some Magicicada cassinii photos from Brood X, 2021, Flemmington, New Jersey.

Magicicada cassinii ovipositing
Magicicada cassini ovipositing

M. cassinii taking a drink:
Taking a Drink Cassini

Brood X Magicicada Photos from Princeton

Filed under: Brood X | Magicicada | Periodical — Tags: , , — Dan @ 7:07 am

These are a set of Brood X Magicicada photos from Princeton, nearby a Burger King, an area with a large population of Magicicada septendecula. Taken in 2021 by Dan Mozgai.

Left to right: Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecula, Magicicada septendecim:
Left to right: Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecula, Magicicada septendecim:

Magicicada septendecim with a black wing margin:
Magicicada septendecim with a black wing margin

Magicicada septendecim with a black wing margin:
Magicicada septendecim with a black wing margin

A pair of Magicicada septedecim:
A pair of Magicicada

Magicicada septendecim:
Magicicada septendecim

Magicicada septendecim:
Magicicada septendecim

June 7, 2021

Dr. J. C. Fisher & John Cassin on Magicicada cassinii

Filed under: Magicicada — Tags: , — Dan @ 9:03 pm

My friend asked “when did Magicicada cassini become Magicicada cassinii“? Over the years, the spelling Magicicada cassini with the single “i” at the end became the most commonly used form of the name, but the original spelling ended with “ii”.

(Ignore this meme):
Cassini or cassinii

The original name of the cicada was Cicada Cassinii, named by Dr. J.C. Fischer. The genus changed to Magicicada (no dispute there), but cassinii stuck around, although it was shortened to cassini over the years (originally in Walker 1969: 8941) in many publications. There is no reason why we shouldn’t call the cicada Magicicada cassinii, as far as I know.

In the 1850s, Dr.J.C. Fisher, M.D. proposed the name Cicada cassinii for this cicada, named for ornithologist John Cassin, who described the cicada in detail. See Vol V, 1850 & 1851 of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, pages 272-275. Here’s a link to the document. Quotes below:

The Committee to which was referred Dr. J. C. Fisher’s description of a new species of Cicada, with Mr. Cassin’s Notes on the same and on C. septendecim, reported in favor of publication in the Proceedings.

On a new species of Cicada.
By J. C. Fisher, M. D.

In the course of the observations made by the Committee of this Academy, to which was assigned the duty of investigating the habits and history of the seventeen year Locust, Cicada septendecim, which appeared during the present year (1851) in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, the attention of its members was directed by Mr. John Cassin to the fact that two species had been confounded, and that the insect regarded as the smaller variety was in fact a distinct species, a conclusion at which he had arrived during their previous appearance in 1834. It is much smaller, is blacker in color, especially on the lower surface of the abdomen, where also the segments are bordered more narrowly with yellow, and has a note entirely different from that of the larger Cicada septendecim, Linn. Syst. Nat. i., pt. ii., p. 708, (1767).

The two species did not associate together, but were found mostly on separate trees, the smaller being the less abundant.

I propose on these grounds to characterize the smaller species as follows: —

Cicada Cassinii, nobis. (♂ total length of body, 9-10ths of an inch; of the wings, 1 2/10ths inches; ♀ frequently smaller.
Colors and general appearance much like those of Cicada septendecim, Linn., but darker, and the segments of the abdomen below are more narrowly bordered with yellow. Note different to that of C. septendecim, and more like that of some of the grasshoppers. Inhabits the neighborhood of Philadelphia, appearing in the winged or perfect state at intervals of seventeen years.

Note on the above species of Cicada, and on the Cicada septendecim, Linn-

By John Cassin.

There are two distinct and easily recognized species of Cicada which appear at intervals of seventeen years, and both of which were observed in this neighborhood, especially in the woods at Powelton, during the present year. I saw them in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in 1834, and their entire specific distinctness I have insisted on through good and evil report for the last seventeen years.

It was therefore highly gratifying to me to have an opportunity of calling the attention of the gentlemen of this Academy to the smaller species which Professor Fisher has done me the honor of naming as above, and particularly to its note. This is quite different from the prolonged and loud scream of the larger species, (which is C. septendecim, Linn.) and begins with an introductory clip, clip, quite peculiar. No disposition to associate with each other exists between the two species, and although I have seen both on the same tree, yet most frequently they were entirely separated, and occupied different parts of the woods. In 1834, I observed the smaller species in localities which were somewhat favorably situated for moisture, but during the present year it occurred in localities as varied as those of the other and larger species. At Powelton it was very abundant in an orchard of apple trees on the most elevated part of the estate, and also on trees in the adjacent woods.

That the smaller species preferred low grounds was the observation of Dr. Hildreth, of Marietta, Ohio, who, in an article on the Cicada septendecim, in Silliman’s Journal, xviii. p. 47, (1830) has the following paragraph: — ” There appeared to be two varieties of the Cicada, one smaller than the other; there was also a striking difference in their notes. The smaller variety was more common in the bottom lands and the larger in the hills.”

The size and the peculiar note are the most striking characters of the smaller species, otherwise it much resembles the larger. The consideration of its claims to specific distinction involves the general problem of specific character, which is difficult in theory, but practically is readily solved. An animal which constantly perpetuates its kind, or in other words reproduces itself
either exactly or within a demonstrable range of variation, is a species. These two Cicadas do not associate together as varieties commonly do. Of the very numerous instances in which the phenomenon introductory to propagation has been observed this year, in the course of the particular attention paid to these insects by gentlemen of this Academy, not one case occurred in which the male and female of the two insects were seen together. They are distinct species.

The appearance of the Cicada septendecim in various localities at different
periods, each terminating intervals of seventeen years, for instance in Ohio in 1846 and in Eastern Pennsylvania in 1851, is a matter of remarkable interest.

Many independent ranges or provinces are known to exist in the United States,
and they are now ascertained to be so numerous that this species probably appears in some part of the country every year. Assuming all that part of North America in which it has ever been observed to be its zoological province, how are the sub-provinces and different times of appearance to be accounted for? Are all those sub-provinces to be regarded as the theatres of independent creations? Do the facts demonstrate that the same species may exist in provinces which may be presumed to have had different eras of origin?

It would be a curious fact, and one of important application, that exactly the same species can inhabit provinces having independent creations, and if, too, as in the case of this insect, it should be clearly impossible for it to have extended from one province to another.

Or, can it be possible that every distinct district in which the Cicada appear is really an entomological province, and that entomological provinces in this part of North America are quite restricted in extent, as has been observed by Dr. Le Conte in California? (Communicated by that gentleman to the American Association for the advancement of Science at its meeting in August, 1851.)

Those sub-provinces may have relations to geologic changes. Having the extraordinary characteristic necessity of remaining in the earth for seventeen years, as a fact in the history of this insect, may it be possible to infer that geologic changes have effected the difference in the times of its appearance, or that so short periods as fractions of seventeen years have been of geologic importance throughout the range of the Cicadas?

The Cicada septendecim has appeared in the vicinity of Philadelphia, at intervals of seventeen years, certainly since 1715. There has been, it appears, no variation of temperature, nor causes accidental nor other since that date sufficient to affect its habits in any perceptible degree. It is stated in Clay’s Swedish Annals, to have appeared in May, 1715, in this neighborhood, (which, so far as I know, is the earliest authentic record ;) punctually in the same month, every seventeeth year, now certainly for nearly one hundred and fifty years, has this extraordinary insect been known to make its visit. No causes have affected it during that period, not even so far as relates to the month in which it appears.

Passing, I would observe that so far as relates to the neighborhood of Philadelphia, the Cicada septendecim clearly had not a fair start with the year 1, — anno mundi of the commonly received chronology. If it had had, the sum produced by 1851X4004 — 1 ought to divide by 17 without a remainder, which it will not do, — more insignificant facts than which have troubled schoolmen.

I have never seen any animals more entirely stupid than the seventeen year Locusts. They make no effort to escape, but allow themselves to be captured with perfect passiveness, thus reminding one of the lameness of animals in countries where they are not molested by enemies. All animals of as high grade of organization as these insects, acquire instincts from impressions made by the presence of danger and otherwise, which they transmit to their offspring. The young Fox of today is undoubtedly superior to his juvenile progenitor of a century since. The cicadas have acquired no such instinct. Their short life of maturity above the surface of the earth does not appear to be of sufficient duration for such to be formed and impressed on their posterity.

In short, it appears to me that the study of these insects, and the examination of their separate ranges, might result in conclusions of extraordinary importance, especially relative to modern views of the distribution of animals.

No animal is more easily traced. In other aspects, too, they present interesting points for study, perhaps of general interest in zoological science.

A couple of interesting things about their texts:

  1. “during their previous appearance in 1834” — 1834 would be Brood X, but it is now extinct in Philadelphia, which they reference
  2. ” especially on the lower surface of the abdomen, where also the segments are bordered more narrowly with yellow” that description sounds more like Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962 than Magicicada cassinii (Fisher, 1852) aka Cassini 17-Year Cicada because of the “more narrowly with yellow” instead of no yellow at all.

1 Allen F. Sanborn. Catalogue of the Cicadoidea (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). 2014. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-416647-9.00001-2

May 27, 2020

Where will 17 & 13 Year Periodical Cicada Broods emerge next?

Skip to a section: Broods | Your Town | Pre Emergence Signs | Magicicada Species.

17 & 13 Year Periodical Cicadas

🛑 This page is strictly for Magicicada periodical cicadas, aka 17 & 13-year cicadas, aka "locusts" (read why they’re called locusts).This does not cover annual cicada species in North America and other parts of the world.

Magicicada Chorus. Recorded in New Jersey, Brood X (2004) by Dan Mozgai:

News

📅 Brood XIII (13) will emerge in 2024 in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana. See you then!

Magicicada Brood Chart

The Brood Chart features the names of the broods (Roman numerals), their life cycle length, when they will emerge next, which states they’ll emerge in, links to Maps, the species that will emerge, and other information. Click the maps for larger, detailed maps.

Brood 17 or 13 Year Stragglers Probable States & Species
I (1) 17 1961, 1978, 1995, 2012, 2029 2025 (-4), 2028 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: TN, VA, WV
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_01/
II (2) 17 1962, 1979, 1996, 2013, 2030 2026 (-4), 2029 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: CT, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VA
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_02/
III (3) 17 1963, 1980, 1997, 2014, 2031 2027 (-4), 2030 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: IA, IL, MO
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_03/
IV (4) 17 1964, 1981, 1998, 2015, 2032 2028 (-4), 2031 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TX
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_04/
V (5) 17 1965, 1982, 1999, 2016, 2033 2029 (-4), 2032 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: LI NY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_05/
VI (6) 17 1966, 1983, 2000, 2017, 2034 2030 (-4), 2933 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. septendecula.
States: GA, NC, SC, WI, OH
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_06/
VII (7) 17 1967, 1984, 2001, 2018, 2035 2031 (-4), 2034 (-1) Species: M. septendecim.
States: NY
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_07/
VIII (8) 17 1968, 1985, 2002, 2019, 2036 2032 (-4), 2035 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: OH, PA, WV and OK
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_08/
IX (9) 17 1952, 1969, 1986, 2003, 2020 2033 (-4), 2036 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: NC, VA, WV
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_09/
X (10) 17 1953, 1970, 1987, 2004, 2021 2020 (-1), 2034 (-4), 2037 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, Washington
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_10/
XIII (13) 17 1956, 1973, 1990, 2007, 2024 2020 (-4), 2023 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini.
States: IA, IL, IN, MI, WI
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_13/
XIV (14) 17 1957, 1974, 1991, 2008, 2025 2021 (-4), 2024 (-1) Species: M. septendecim, M. cassini, M. septendecula.
States: GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_14/
XIX (19) 13 1972, 1985, 1998, 2011, 2024 2020 (-4), 2023 (-1) Species: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula.
States: AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VA
Brood XIX mini map
XXII (22) 13 1975, 1988, 2001, 2014, 2027 2023 (-4), 2026 (-1) Species: M. tredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula.
States: KY, LA, MS, OH
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_22/
XXIII (23) 13 1976, 1989, 2002, 2015, 2028 2024 (-4), 2027 (-1) Species: M. tredecim, M. neotredecim, M. tredecassini, M. tredecula.
States: AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TN
https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_23/

When will they emerge?

📅 🌡️ Generally speaking, these cicadas will begin to emerge when the soil 8″ beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit (Heath, 1968). A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence. They typically emerge in May but have been known to emerge in late April or early June. It all depends on the weather.

What should you look for before they emerge?

Chimneys / Turrets

Look for cicada chimneys a.k.a. turrets. These are structures cicadas build out of the soil, positioned above the hole where they will emerge.

Chimney

Holes

Look for holes in the diameter of an adult’s finger near the root system of a tree. These are sure signs that cicadas will emerge in the area.

Holes

Cicadas Under Stones & Slates

You might discover some cicada nymphs while turning over stones or when performing landscaping chores.

Cicada tunneling under slate

What do they look like when they emerge:

Here is a great video of Magicicada nymphs once they have emerged from the ground:


Nymph

This is a recently emerged nymph crawling up a tree. Note that its eyes are red.

Nymph

Once cicadas nymphs have emerged from the ground, they will try to find a tree (or similar vertical surface), and then begin the process of shedding their old nymph skins (ecdysis), expanding their wings, and changing to their adult coloring. Watch this amazing transformation.

Teneral

How to tell the difference between the seven Magicicada species:

Left to right: Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecula, Magicicada septendecim:

Left to right: Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecula, Magicicada septendecim:

The first way is based on the Brood. Take a look at the Brood chart above, and see which species appear with the Brood.

There are 3 basic types of Magicicada: “‘Decims”, “‘Cassini” and “‘Deculas”.

“Decims” aka Pharaoh Cicadas

There are three species in this category:

  1. Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758). 17-year life cycle. Broods: I-X, XIII, XIV.
  2. Magicicada neotredecim Marshall and Cooley 2000. 13-year life cycle. Broods: XIX, XXIII.
  3. Magicicada tredecim (Walsh and Riley, 1868). 13-year life cycle. Brood: XIX, XXII, XXIII.

Their songs are very similar, however, when M. neotredecim & M. tredecim emerge in the same location, M. neotredecim’s song takes a higher pitch. Sounds like “Pharaoh, Pharaoh!”.

Visual Appearance:

M. septendecim
Male on left; Female on right.

M. neotredecim & M. septendecim have broad orange stripes with more orange than black on their abdomens.

M. tredecim
M. tredecim, by comparison, have almost entirely orange abdomens.

eye to wing
M. septendecim cicadas also have an area of orange coloring between the eye and the wing (pronotal extension).

“Cassini” aka Dwarf Cicadas

There are two species in this category:

  1. Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1851). 17-year life cycle. Broods: I-V, VIII-X, XIII, XIV.
  2. Magicicada tredecassini Alexander and Moore, 1962. 13-year life cycle. Broods: XIX, XXII, XXII.

Their songs are essentially identical:

M. cassini Call and Court:

Note how it makes a quick burst of sound, followed by some rapid clicks.

Visual Appearance:

M. cassini
Female on left; Male on right.
M. tredecassin & M. cassini cicadas have black abdomens with virtually no orange at all. Orange stripes are possible in the mid-west (important to note for Brood IV).

“Decula”

There are two species in this category:

  1. Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962. 17-year life cycle. Broods: I-VI, VIII-X, XIII, XIV.
  2. Magicicada tredecula Alexander and Moore, 1962. 13-year life cycle. Broods: XIX, XXII, XXIII.

Their songs are essentially identical:

M. tredecula Call:

Note the “tick, tick, tick” rhythm of the call.

Visual Appearance:

M. septendecula
Female on left; Male on right.
M. septendecula & M. tredecula have stripes that feature more black than orange. Otherwise, they’re very similar to M. cassini.

How to figure out if they’re coming to your town?

  1. Verify that they’re coming to your state. Check the Magicicada Brood Chart on this page.
  2. Check Cicada Brood Maps linked from this page to see if they’re coming to your general area.
  3. Check to see if they’re coming to your neighborhood. Good sources include:
    1. Check the Cicada Central Magicicada Database to see the counties where cicadas have appeared in the past.
    2. Ask someone who lived there 17 (or 13) years before.
    3. Old timers (hint: old timers usually call them locusts).
    4. Check your local Library for old newspaper articles.
    5. Check with a local college: contact the entomology, forestry, or agriculture-related departments.
    6. Your local national, state, county and town parks department (parks and rec). Some county parks departments plan events around cicada emergences.
  4. When will they emerge?
    1. They will emerge sometime in the Spring, for sure.
    2. They typically emerge once the soil 8 inches (20 cm) below the surface gets to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celcius). At that temperature, they will start digging their tunnels to the surface. After a couple of days with above-ground temperatures near the 80’s F, and after a good rain, they will definitely emerge. Read this paper for more info: Thermal Synchronization of Emergence in Periodical “17-year” Cicadas (Homoptera, Cicadidae, Magicicada) by James Edward Heath, American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 80, No. 2. (Oct., 1968), pp. 440-448.
    3. Cicadas in sunny areas of your yard will emerge before cicadas in shady areas.
    4. Cicadas in the southern-most states will emerge before cicadas in northern states.
    5. You can try the Cicada Emergence Formula as well.
  5. If you don’t want them do damage your young / ornamental trees
    1. Spray them off with a garden hose.
    2. Foil around the trunk (to keep them from crawling up) (thanks Deborah).
    3. Insect barrier tape.
    4. Netting placed around & over the tree. “Insect barrier netting”. “Fruit tree covers”.
    5. Bagpipes (no joke, it worked at my friend’s wedding).
    6. Don’t use pesticide – we like all insects (especially pollinating bees).
  6. Are you scared of insects?
    • Unlike some other insects & arthropods. cicadas are not poisonous or venomous.
    • Try a hat, an umbrella, a bee-keepers’ outfit, a suit of armor…
  7. They’re coming, and they’re going to ruin my wedding!

Questions about the Brood Chart

Question: Why do I have cicadas in my neighborhood, but your chart indicates that I shouldn’t?

Answer: Some possibilities: 1) they are stragglers, periodical cicadas that emerge too soon or late, 2) they are not periodical cicadas, but are a different North American species, 3) you live on a continent other than North America, in which case, try one of these pages, or 4) SURPRISE! The U.S. is a big place and some cicada populations have yet to be documented.


Question: Why don’t I have periodical cicadas in my area, but the information on your website indicates that I should?

Answer: Two possibilities: 1) they went extinct or otherwise died off in your area, or 2) they aren’t everywhere in a state – normally there are large gaps in their range.


Question: What are stragglers?

Answer: Stragglers can emerge 1 or 4 years early or 1 or 4 years late. Don’t be surprised if you see some periodical cicadas emerge earlier than planned this year. 17-year brood members are most likely to straggle 4 years early, and 13-year brood members are most likely to straggle 4 years late. Straggler probability chart.


Question: Why are there no Brood XI, XII, XV, XVI… ?

Answer: Perhaps you’ve noticed there are no Broods XI (11), XII (12), XV (15), XVI (16), XVII (17), XVIII (18), XX (20), XXI (21), XXIV (24), etc. Don’t worry about that. They never existed or are extinct (XI, XXI).


More Magicicada websites:

  1. For much more information about 17-year cicadas visit Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org). The maps on this page link to that site.
  2. The Cicada Safari App is available for Android and Apple devices 📱. Use it to see where people are finding cicadas, and to report your own sightings.
  3. Check the Cicada Central Magicicada Database to see the counties where cicadas have appeared in the past. For more information about this database and cicada research in general, visit the Simon Lab website.

More Magicicada Information

April 14, 2020

Magicicada cassinii (Fisher, 1852) aka Cassini 17-Year Cicada

Filed under: Lamotialnini | Magicicada | Periodical | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 5:04 pm

Magicicada cassinii (Fisher, 1852) aka Cassini 17-Year Cicada.

Magicicada cassini; Brood X straggler

Female Magicicada cassini Colonia NJ

All Magicicada cassinii images & info on cicadamania.com.

M. cassini Court II & III. Recorded in New York, Brood II (2013) by Dan Mozgai.


Source: ©Cicada Mania | Species: M. cassini

Song type: Distress


Source: ©Cicada Mania | Species: M. cassini

Song type: Chorus


Source: ©Cicada Mania | Species: M. cassini

Song type: Call


Source: ©Joe Green | Species: M. cassini

Song type: Chorus


Source: ©Cicada Mania | Species: M. cassini

Video

Video Playlist

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Identification Tips

M. cassinii differs from other Magicicada in that its abdomen is typically all black, with no orange. Exceptions occur in the mid-west, the occasional mosaic pigment mutation. It also lacks the orange coloring between the eye and wing that M. septendecim has. Its chorus sounds like hissing static.

M. cassini Brood Chart

Magicicada cassinii has a 17-year lifecycle.

Brood Years States
I (1) 1961, 1978, 1995, 2012, 2029 TN, VA, WVA
II (2) 1962, 1979, 1996, 2013, 2030 CT, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, VA
III (3) 1963, 1980, 1997, 2014, 2031 IA, IL, MO
IV (4) 1964, 1981, 1998, 2015, 2032 IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TX
V (5) 1965, 1982, 1999, 2016, 2033 LI NY, western MD, east OH, south-west PA, north-west VA, northern half of WV
VIII (8) 1968, 1985, 2002, 2019, 2026 OH, PA, WVA and OK
IX (9) 1952, 1969, 1986, 2003, 2020 NC, VA, WVA
X (10) 1953, 1970, 1987, 2004, 2021 DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA, Washington DC
XIII (13) 1956, 1973, 1990, 2007, 2024 IA, IL, IN, MI, WI
XIV (14) 1957, 1974, 1991, 2008, 2025 GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV

Name, Location and Description

Classification:

Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Lamotialnini
Sub-Tribe: Tryellina
Genus: Magicicada
Species: Magicicada cassinii (Fisher, 1852)

List of sources

  • Full Binomial Names: ITIS.gov
  • Common names: BugGuide.net; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  • Locations: Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org)
  • Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.
  • Tribe information comes from: MARSHALL, DAVID C. et al. A molecular phylogeny of the cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with a review of tribe and subfamily classification. Zootaxa, [S.l.], v. 4424, n. 1, p. 1–64, may 2018. ISSN 1175-5334. Available at: https://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/view/zootaxa.4424.1.1

Notes:

  • Some descriptions are based on aged specimens which have lost some or a lot of their color.

March 29, 2020

Brood II Magicicada from Colonia, New Jersey (2013)

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: , , — Dan @ 8:41 am

Brood II Magicicada from Woodbridge, New Jersey (2013). Elias Bonaros, Roy Troutman and I went looking for cicadas in Middlesex County.

Male Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township NJ:
Male Magicicada septendecula found in Woodbridge Township NJ

M. septendecim top and M.cassini bottom exuvia in Colonia NJ:
M. septendecim top and M cassini bottom exuvia in Colonia NJ

Magicicada exuvia in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Magicicada exuvia in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Male Magicicada cassini found in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Male Magicicada cassini found in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Many Magicicada on a single small tree in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Many Magicicada on a single small tree in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Many many Magicicada on a single small tree in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Many many Magicicada on a single small tree in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Profile of a mustard eyed Magicicada septendecim found in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Profile of a mustard eyed Magicicada septendecim found in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Yellow Eyed Magicicada in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ:
Yellow Eyed Magicicada in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ

Female Magicicada cassini Colonia NJ:
Female Magicicada cassini Colonia NJ

March 28, 2020

Brood X Stragglers from 2017 in Princeton

Filed under: Brood X | Magicicada | Periodical Stragglers | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: — Dan @ 6:25 pm

Photos of Brood X stragglers in Princeton, New Jersey, from back in 2017. The rest of the brood will emerge in 2021.

Magicicada cassini with mosaic pigment mutation:
Magicicada cassini with mosaic pigment mutation in Princeton 2017

Magicicada cassini with mosaic pigment mutation:
Mosaic Pigment Mutation

Female M. cassini. Notice the all-black abdomen:
Female M. cassini Princeton NJ 2017

Cicada skins and Albert Einstein:

Close up!
Close up Magicicada

Magicicada cassini:
Magicicada cassini; Brood X straggler

March 24, 2020

Brood II Magicicada photos by Dani Siddle from Brood II, part 2

Filed under: Brood III | Dani Siddle | Magicicada — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:08 pm

Brood II Magicicada photos by Dani Siddle from Brood II, part 1. They were taken in the Malden-on-Hudson area of New York in 2013.

Skip to Part 1.

Mating Magicicada cassini:
Mating Magicicada cassini in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

Mating Magicicada:
Mating Magicicada by Dani Siddle in Malden on Hudson NY

Magicicada viewed from the side:
Magicicada viewed from the side by Dani Siddle in Malden on Hudson NY

Magicicada septendecim:
Magicicada septendecim in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

Magicicada septendecim:
Magicicada septendecim by Dani Siddle in Malden on Hudson NY

Magicicada on leaves:
Magicicada on leaves by Dani Siddle in Malden on Hudson NY

Brood II Magicicada photos by Dani Siddle from Brood II, part 1

Filed under: Brood II | Dani Siddle | Magicicada — Tags: — Dan @ 7:03 pm

Brood II Magicicada photos by Dani Siddle from Brood II, part 1. They were taken in the Malden-on-Hudson area of New York in 2013.

Skip to Part 2.

Female Magicicada cassini:
Female Magicicada cassini in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

Magicicada cassini:
Magicicada cassini by Dani Siddle in Malden on Hudson NY

Magicicada cassini:
Magicicada cassini in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle 2

Magicicada cassini:
Magicicada cassini in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

Magicicada cassini:
Magicicada cassini on flower in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

Magicicada:
Magicicada in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle 2

Magicicada:
Magicicada in Malden on Hudson NY by Dani Siddle

June 25, 2016

My 2016 Brood V Experience

Filed under: Brood V | John Cooley | Magicicada | Matt Berger | Periodical — Tags: , , — Dan @ 11:20 am

Magicicada exuvia on an oak leaf_sm
Many exuvia clinging to oak leaves. Core Arboretum, WVU.

My plan was to check out Maryland first, then head to West Virginia for a few days, and then Ohio. If weather, time and patience allowed, Virginia and Long Island, New York. Like all my periodical cicada trips I start by consulting the map on Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) to see where folks are finding cicadas. I also consult with the folks who study periodical cicadas professionally to discover their favorite hot spots and any locations of particular scientific interest. This year, the interesting spot was north-western Maryland — more on that later.

Generally speaking, you’ll see a lot of pin-drops for Magicicada cassini on the map. This is because you can hear them while driving at 70mph. You often have to stop your car and turn off the engine to hear the other species, so even though there’s lots of M. cassini on the map, there’s probably just as much M. septendecim. Generally speaking, my mapping methodology works like this: I stop and take notes when I can (usually at rest stops, parks or when I’m staying in a particular town — see Morgantown & Athens later in the article) and this is when I’ll hear M. septendecim & M. septendecula, but when I’m driving interstate highways at high speeds (with a parade of angry drivers who would rather tailgate me that use the left lane to go around me) I can only take data points for M. cassini.

What do I bring with me on a seven-day cicada road trip? Aside from clothes, road food, smartphone, and my AAA card, I bring equipment to aide my study of cicadas:

  • A junk computer. A decrepit laptop that I won’t care if it gets stolen.
  • A video camera.
  • A device for measuring sound level (decibels).
  • A notepad and pen (because technology fails).
  • Butterfly pavilions, which are these expandable enclosures for holding and observing insects.
  • Containers for holding dead specimens, and silica gel to keep them dry. Note: before you collect, make sure it is legal in the location you plan to collect. Collecting wildlife from National Parks is illegal. Collecting cicadas from a Hampton Inn parking lot is usually okay.
  • Suntan lotion and Bug Spray. I like insects, but ticks and mosquitos can turn cicada observation into a nightmare. Many researchers wear pyrethrum treated clothes (yes, bad for cats).
  • A flashlight.
  • Cicada Mania pins for folks I meet along the way.

What I don’t bring but should is one of John Cooley’s Cicada O Matic GPS Dataloggers. I have to make observations by hand.

Other than that, I follow the typical Power Vacation rules.

Maryland Part 1:

The first town I hit was Accident, Maryland (great name). There were sightings on the Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) map, and the name of the town was awesome, so I wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t observe any cicadas there.

Route 68, West Virginia

Traveling west along Route 68, about half-way between the center of Bruceton Mills and Coopers Rock State Forest I started to hear pockets of M. cassini. I stopped at Coopers Rock, and at first, I was disappointed: I didn’t hear any cicadas from my car. Once I stopped my car and turned off the engine I could hear them: M. septendecim with their spooky sci-fi UFO chorus in the distance. It became obvious that the park had a healthy population of M. septendecim, with a smattering of M. cassini as well.

Morgantown, WV

Next, I arrived at Morgantown, WV. Some twitter friends had been posting cicada photos from there, so I thought it would be a good location to set up base and make observations for a few days. The hotel I chose had an excellent population of M. septedecim and cassini around it; so much so that the staff couldn’t keep up with unwanted cicada guests that littered their doorway, trampled by oblivious human guests.

My first day there I walked around the West Virginia University campus near the hospital, stadium & iHop. The sky was overcast and it was getting late in the afternoon, but it was clear that the campus and town had an abundance of periodical cicadas, and that I made a good choice in setting up camp there. At night, in my hotel parking lot, I was able to watch cicadas emerge as nymphs as transform into adults, which is always a highlight of an emergence for me.

WVU Core Arboretum

Core Arboretum is a large botanical garden devoted to trees (“arbor”) on the WVU campus. It was an excellent place to observe cicadas. I was able to observe all three species, the tiny but LOUD M. cassini, the larger & relatively docile M. septendecim, and the rarest of the species M. septendecula. Finding M. septendecula so early in my trip was a treat. Their clockwork/tambourine sound (at least that’s what I think they sound like) gave them away.

I met entomologists Matt Berger, who has contributed many cicada photos to this site over the years, and his colleague HereBeSpiders11 (twitter name). Awesome people. I met Zachariah Fowler, the director of the arboretum as well. Another awesome person.

Magicicada white eyes
A white-eyed Magicicada septendecim.

I was able to check off many of my cicada checklist items in Morgantown: I found a white-eyed cicada, I saw & heard all three species, and more.

Leaving West Virginia, Entering Ohio

M. cassini were plentiful along route 79 and 50 headed west towards Athens, Ohio. Along the way, I made a few stops and heard & observed some M. septendecim as well.

Athens, Ohio

Athens was another good location to stay and observe cicadas. The parks in the surrounding area had excellent cicada populations, and I had a rare chance to meet John Cooley of Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org).

My first day in Athens I spent at Dow Lake in Strouds Run State Park. There I met John Cooley who was there showing a German film crew the particulars of cicada behavior. Dow Lake had a healthy mix of LOUD M. cassini and M. septendecim, but the cassini definitely dominated. The highlight for me was not a cicada, but spotting a rat snake climbing down from an acacia tree where it was no-doubt snacking on cicadas.

Sells Park in Athens was a nice place to hear VERY LOUD M. cassini choruses, well into the high 80-90db mark. So loud that I limited my time there, and left after an hour.

Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills is an amazing park north of Athens than features a spectacular above-ground cave and many acres of forest filled with cicadas. Hocking Hills had a good population of all three species, and M. septendecula were unusually easy to find. They seem to have preferred areas where deciduous trees blended with evergreens, at least in the locations I found.

Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest

A Magicicada cassini chorus from the Experimental Forest:

A Magicicada chorus with audible M. septendecula from the Experimental Forest:

Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest is a forest curated to include as much biological diversity as possible. All three periodical cicada species make up part of that diversity. M. septendcula choruses were very easy to find. The forest was thrilling to visit — aside from the biting deer flies, it was exhilarating to see or hear so many species of insects, birds, and plants in one place. Also, thrilling were the winding one-lane dirt roads; I almost died a few times thanks to wild drivers out for a pretend Finland Rally race.

Back to Maryland

After an overnight stop back in Morgantown, WV, I headed back to Maryland to prove (or disprove) that periodical cicadas were there, and if I did find them, the extent of their population. It is important to show the limits of their population as researchers (John Cooley in particular) are interested in demonstrating that the Brood V population in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia & Maryland is distinct from the population in Virginia.

I’m happy to report that I did find periodical cicadas in Maryland. The populations were mostly the relatively quieter M. septendecim — the type you really have to stop the car & turn off the engine to be certain they’re there. I did find M. cassini as well, but M. septendecim dominated. The adorably named Friendsville and Selbysport had good populations, as did the hill above the Youghiogheny river overlook rest stop on I68. South of this area, I did not hear or see cicadas on Bear Creek Road, Rt 42, Rt 219 or Rt 495. It is possible there are pockets of cicadas deep in the woods and out of earshot in those areas, but it is clear there was no great population of periodical cicadas in those areas if any at all. I spoke to a chainsaw bear sculptor in Bittinger, which is not far from where the Appalachian Plateau ends & the Ridge and Valley area starts. I showed him a photo of a periodical cicada. He said he had never seen them in his life, and nor did he see them in Accident where he went to church. He did hear about them on the news, so he was aware of them.

Maryland

Pennsylvania, and home

After collecting cicada data and buying a chainsaw bear, I headed north into Pennsylvania. I stopped at a rest stop, enjoyed the last I would hear of Brood V, and headed back home.

More!

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