Cicada Mania

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

Cicada T-shirts

July 3, 2021

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

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 septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962

Filed under: Lamotialnini | Magicicada | Periodical | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 5:59 pm

Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962
Photo credit: by Dan Mozgai. Brood II, New Jersey.

All Magicicada septendecula info and images on cicadamania.com.

Song type: Call


Source: ©Joe Green | Species: M. septendecula

Song type: Call


Source: ©Joe Green | Species: M. septendecula

Video

Video Playlist

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Identification Tips

M. septendecula is smaller than M. septedecim, and about the same size as M. cassisii. It typically has small (small compared to M. septedecim) orange stripes on its abdomen. It lacks the orange color between the eye and wing insertion point that M. septendecim has. Its chorus sounds like a ticking clock.

Brood Chart

Magicicada septendecula has a 17-year lifecycle.

Brood Year 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
VI (6) 1949, 1966, 1983, 2000, 2017 GA, NC, SC, WI, OH
VIII (8) 1951, 1968, 1985, 2002, 2019 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
XIV (14) 1957, 1974, 1991, 2008, 2025 GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA

Name, Location and Description

Classification:

Family: Cicadidae
SubFamily: Cicadettinae
Tribe: Lamotialnini
Sub-Tribe: Tryellina
Genus: Magicicada
Species: Magicicada septendecula Alexander and Moore, 1962

List of sources

  1. Full Binomial Names: ITIS.gov
  2. Common names: BugGuide.net; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  3. Locations: Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org)
  4. Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.
  5. 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

Dead Specimens – Brood II Magicicada from Middlesex County, New Jersey (2013)

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Massospora | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: , — Dan @ 10:03 am

Photos of dead specimens from the Brood II Magicicada emergence in Middlesex County, NJ, in 2013.

Brood II Magicada collection from 2013:
Brood II Magicada collection from 2013 2

Brood II Magicada collection from 2013:
Brood II Magicada collection from 2013 2

Comparison of Male and Female Magicicada genitalia:
Comparison of Male and Female Magicicada

Magicicada septendecula female abdomen:
Magicicada septendecula female abdomen

Magicicada septendecim hind wing:
Magicicada septendecim hind wing

Male Magicicada septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus:
Male Magicicada septendecim infected with Massospora cicadina fungus

Live Specimens – Brood II Magicicada from Middlesex County, New Jersey (2013)

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: , — Dan @ 9:54 am

These are photos of live cicada specimens from the 2013 Brood II emergence in Middlesex County, NJ.

Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ:
Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ.

Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ. Abdomen.
Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ. Abdomen

Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ:
Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ

Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ:
Male Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ

Male Magicicada Metuchen NJ:
Male Magicicada Metuchen NJ

Female Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ:
Female Magicicada septendecim Metuchen NJ

Male M. septendecim Metuchen NJ:
Male M_ septendecim Metuchen NJ

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

Brood II Magicicada from Woodbridge, New Jersey (2013)

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: , — Dan @ 8:31 am

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

A pair of mating Magicicada septendecim found in Woodbridge Township NJ:
A pair of mating Magicicada septendecims found in Woodbridge Township NJ

There was a population of Magicicada septendecula near the Metropark train station.

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

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

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!

February 5, 2015

Visualizing all periodical cicada broods

Isn’t this a lovely picture (updated with colors sorted)?

All Broods

This image represents the combined range of all Magicicada periodical cicada broods, including the extinct Broods XI (last recorded in Connecticut) and XXI (last recorded in Florida).

To produce this image, I visited John Cooley’s Cicadas @ UCONN (formerly Magicicada.org) Cicada Geospacial Data Clearinghouse and downloaded the Shapefile of Magicicada broods. Then I used the computer program QGIS to change the Shapefile to a KML file, and then I opened the file in Google Earth. Credit goes to John for pulling the data together into the Shapefile.

I manually edited the KML file to try to give each Brood a different color.

An interesting area is Fredrick County, where 5 different broods seem to exist (or have existed) at once.
Fredrick County VA

Peach = Brood I
Green = Brood II
Purple = Brood V
Cyan = Brood X
Red = Brood XIV

It’s also interesting that four of the broods are separated by four years: X, XIV, I, V.

November 19, 2014

Video of Magicicada septendecula from Brood II

Filed under: Brood II | Magicicada | Ovipositing | Periodical | Video — Tags: — Dan @ 7:45 am

Here are two videos of Magicicada septendecula from Brood II.

Female Magicicada septendecula

Magicicada septendecula from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

A female Magicicada septendecula ovipositing

A female Magicicada septendecula ovipositing from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

More »