A news story came out in November reporting that M. cassini appeared in areas of Connecticut where they were not expected during the Brood II emergence this year. This must have been a 2013 highlight for cicada researchers in the Connecticut area.
December 22, 2013
June 23, 2013
If you want to see and hear the Brood II cicadas, play hookey this week, and head on up the Hudson Valley in New York State. DO IT! It’s your last chance until 2030 (unless you want to see Brood III and XXII next year).
Today I took an eight-hour road trip along the Hudson River in NY. I hit Palisades Interstate Park, Bear Mountain, Cold Springs, virtually every town along Rte 9G and 199, Germantown, Hudson, and Woodstock.
Cold Spring and Woodstock were a little disappointing, though their downtowns seemed like nice places to visit (no time for human fun when you’re tracking cicadas). The east side of the Hudson River was definitely more active than the west side, although I did hear cicada choruses along Interstate 87 between exit 18 and 16.
Here are my favorite locations. The first one is pure gold.
A rest stop for cars.
Rhinebeck NY 12572
Loads of ‘decims and cassini. Cassini could be picked off the low lying trees like grapes. ‘Decims hugged trees by the 100’s. Best spot of the day.
130 Main street by the river.
Germantown, NY 12526
Cassini and decim choruses. Decims and cassini on low vegetation.
400 New York 308
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Cassini and decim choruses. Decims in low lying trees.
Dutchess Mall, ironically near a big box hardware store that will remain nameless
Cassini and ‘decim choruses. ‘Decims in low lying trees. Very active and feisty.
Tiorati Brook Rd
Stony Point, NY 10980
‘Decim choruses. ‘Decims in low lying trees.
Some video and audio from the New York emergence:
Periodical cicadas at a rest stop in Rhinebeck NY:
Magicicada septendecim in Stony Point NY:
Magicicada cassini Court II and III NY Brood II 2013:
June 8, 2013
When Roy Troutman visited New Jersey last week he took a lot of great cicada photos. Here is a sample of the best.
Click these photos to see larger versions of the photos:
Enjoy these videos of the Brood II Magicicada emergence from 2013.
Magicicada septendecim ovipositing
Periodical Cicadas in Merrill Park in Colonia NJ
Either a Magicicada cassini or septendecula
A calling Magicicada septendecim
June 6, 2013
Last Thursday Roy Troutman, Elias Bonaros and I traveled around central New Jersey, looking for cicadas. They were not hard to find. Elias found a location in Colonia that had a particularly loud Magicicada cassini chorusing center. Using my camera and Extech 407730 40-to-130-Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter, I recorded the calls of these cicadas and how loud they can get. The quality of the video isn’t the best because it’s a camera, not a video camera, but it is good enough.
Magicicada cassini chorusing center peaking at 85db (on Vimeo):
Elias and Roy used finger snaps, mimicking the wing snaps of female cicadas, to trick the males into singing:
Magicicada cassini responding to fingersnaps (on Vimeo):
We placed the M. cassini directly on the microphone and got calls as high as 109 decibels, in this video:
There were a few M. septendecim in the area as well. A Magicicada septendecim goes from a Court II to Court III call as soon as it crawls on the decibel meter, in this video.
The cicada choruses in Central New Jersey have no doubt gotten louder since last week. Hopefully, on Sunday I’ll get back out to Central Jersey or Staten Island and make some recordings.
May 19, 2013
When photographing adult Magicicadas, particularly if you are interested in identifying their species and gender, it is important to photograph them from multiple angles: ventral (bottom) and lateral (left or right) particularly near the head. Please take photos of the dorsal (top), anterior (front), posterior (hind) and other angles, however ventral and left or right are the best sides to help identify the species.
We also encourage you to clean your fingernails and include an item which can be used to determine the size of the insect, like a ruler.
The ventral view allows us to determine the species and sex.
The following photo features a male (left) and female (right) Magicicada septendecim (Linnaeus, 1758). Note the orange striped abdomen, characteristic of the M. septendecim. Also, as with other cicada species, note that the female’s abdomen comes to a point, and the male’s abdomen is thicker and ends with a “blocky-shaped” structure.
The following photo features a female (left) and male (right) Magicicada cassini (Fisher, 1851). Note the lack of distinct orange stripes on the abdomen, characteristic of the M. cassini. Their abdomens are nearly completely black. Also note that the female’s abdomen comes to a point, and the male’s abdomen is thicker and ends with a “blocky-shaped” structure.
Both these images were taken by the same photographer (Osamu Hikino) and we can use the size of his fingertips (nice clean nails) to compare the size of these two species. The M. cassini is relatively much smaller than the M. septendecim, which is why M. cassini is also known as the “dwarf cicada”.
I don’t have a good photo of the third species, the Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962 [view a photo of M. septendecula on another website]. The M. septendecula is similar to the M. cassini in size (hence smaller than the M. septendecula), but it has orange stripes like the M. septendecim, which is why it is important to get a photo of the left or right side of the insect so we can see the color of the pronotal extension.
The pronotal extension is an extension of the pronotum that lies between the Magicicada’s eye and its wing (outlined in green in the photo below). M. septendecim have orange coloring in that area, which gives us a key way to visually distinguish them from M. septendecula.
If you want to learn more about diagnosing the species and gender of cicadas (all species, not just Magicicada sp.) using photographs, track down the document Overview of Cicada Morphology by Allen F. Sanborn of Barry University.
I don’t want to discourage you from taking amazing photos of cicadas in every position and angle possible using all your fancy macro lenses and whatnot. All cicada photos are awesome, but only a few angles help us identify the insect.
July 1, 2008
Enjoy these videos of Magicicada cassini calling by Joe Green.