Updating (9/8) with some photos of an adult male Hieropglyhic cicada.
Updating (6/28) with some more locations: Bass River Park (E Greenbrook Rd), Harrisville Pond, Franklin Parker preserve.
Cicada season started in New Jersey last week with the emergence and singing of Neocicada Hieroglyphica aka the Hieroglyphic cicada. I heard them in Brendan T. Byrne state park and Hammonton. Someone on our Instagram said he heard them in Vineland.
Cicadas.info which specializes in the cicadas of the Mid-Atlantic, has Hieropglyhic cicadas starting around June 8th — this makes sense because they’re found in Florida, as well as more northern states like New Jersey and New York (Long Island).
You can hear their high-pitched screams in this video:
Hieroglyphic cicadas (Neocicada hieroglyphica aka Hieroglyphic Cicada) are present in most of southern New Jersey, particularly the Pine Barrens area which has sandy soil (pure sand in a lot of places) and many pine and oak trees. This area is historically prone to fires because of the dry sandy soil and sappy pines. The fact that at least some Hieroglyphic cicadas appear every year and spend many years underground probably helps them circumvent minor fires.
Here’s a photo of a Hieroglyphic and Northern Dusk-Singing Cicada exuvia (shed skin). Quite a difference! Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Website. This is the best location I’ve found. Pine & oak forests with huckleberry undergrowth. Sandy soil. A good place to record and study their calls, as there is minimal interference from the general public. Exuvia of Hieroglyphic, Northern Dusk-Singing Cicada, and Neotibicen cicadas were easily found. Hieroglyphic Cicada choruses were very loud in the middle of the month (7/10-15), but by 7/31 very few were audible — look for them in late June, or early July.
1900 NJ-70, Manchester Township, NJ. This is a strip mall with a good pizza restaurant (Pop’s), a bar, and a breakfast restaurant. The mall is surrounded by pines and oaks and is a good place for hearing Hieroglyphic and Northern Dusk-Singing Cicadas, as well as some Neotibicen.
1936 Wildland Firefighter Memorial. 151-195 Greenbush Rd. Little Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. An interesting park that features the ruins of some buildings, and the typical combination of sandy soil, pine, oak, and huckleberry. Hieroglyphic cicadas were heard calling on pine trees. I believe this location is within Bass River State Forest.
Batso Village. Website. 31 Batsto Rd, Hammonton, NJ 08037. Batso Village is a large recreation of the Batso Village which produced iron and glass in the 18th century. It offers 3 or 4 trails that feature groves of pine trees inhabited by Hieroglyphic cicadas.
Franklin Parker Preserve. Website. Chatsworth Lake Entrance, 1450 County Rd 532, Chatsworth, NJ 08019. Some blackjack oak and sassafrass, but the forest is mostly pine. Hieroglphic cicadas are present and audible. The exuvia of small Neotibicen were present, and either N. canicularis or N. davisi are audible (I wouldn’t tell which).
All these areas are heavily infested with ticks, deer flies, and in some cases, mosquitos. Take precaution.
There are two subspecies of Neocicada hieroglyphica: Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica (Say, 1830) and Neocicada hieroglyphica johannis (Walker, 1850). According to Wm. T. Davis, a key difference is: on N. hieroglyphica johannis, “the black marks on the head, pronotum and mesonotum are more in the form of spots than of continuous lines as in typical hieroglyphica”.
Short Names: N. hieroglyphica hieroglyphica and N. hieroglyphica johannis
Former name/synonyms: Cicada hieroglyphica
Common Name: Hieroglyphic Cicada
When: May-August. Peaks in June.
Where are they found: N. hieroglyphica hieroglyphica is found in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, and N. hieroglyphica johannis is found in Florida
A description by Wm. T. Davis from MISSISSIPPI CICADAS, WITH A KEY TO THE SPECIES OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES1:
Cicada hieroglyphica Say.
Occurs from Riverhead, Long Island, N. Y., to eastern Kansas and southward. In peninsular Florida the variety johannis Walker replaces the typical form. The black marks on the head, pronotum and mesonotum are more in the form of spots than of continuous lines as in typical hieroglyphica.
The song does not continue long, but sometimes, as in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the insects appear in numbers, when their united effort produces a considerable noise.
Brood I Magicicada periodical cicadas continue to emerge in VA, WA and TN. Magicicada stragglers belonging to other broods, continue to emerge as well.
Neocicada hieroglyphica are around as well, particularly in Florida [link goes to image].
Neocicada hieroglyphica by Joe Green, 2007.
Cicadas belonging to the genus Cacama (Cactus Dodgers), including the Cacama valvata are emerging in south-western states like New Mexico and Arizona [link goes to image].
Cacama valvata cicada photos by Adam Fleishman
Cicadas belonging to the genus Tibicen are emerging in warmer areas of the United States. Joe Green found a Tibicen tibicen (possibly Tibicen tibicen australis [see Insect Singers site for song and description]) in Florida. Tibicen superbus [image] are emerging in Southern states as well.
Neotibicen superbus from Texas photo by Roy Troutman.
H is for Hieroglyphic Cicada. The Neocicada hieroglyphica a.k.a. Hieroglyphic Cicada is found in the south-eastern United States. It’s active in the late spring and early summer. There are multiple subspecies of the Hieroglyphic Cicada including the Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica and Neocicada hieroglyphica johannis, according to InsectSingers.com.
Haemolymph is a blood-like fluid found in some arthropods like cicadas. Cicadas use haemolymph to inflate their wings when they eclose (leave their nymph form and become adults), as well as to transport nutrients throughout the cicada’s body.
Harvest Fly is common name for Tibicen cicadas, presumably in areas where harvests take place. I’ve heard tales that the harvest is supposed to take place a month after the last Tibicen sings.
Joe Green wrote us to let us know that he heard the first Neocicada hieroglyphica of the year.
Just wanted to let you all know I heard the first male Neocicada hieroglyphica calling from a oak tree today at Chico’s World Headquarters campus here in Fort Myers, Florida. I heard the warm-up pre call at first that lead into to the full blown chorus call for 6 repeated calls before he stopped. It was 2:40 pm EST, in the afternoon with the temperature reaching 80 degrees on this day. I have yet to hear one at Dusk here at the house but I’ll listen from now on with the start of the season here in south Florida and record all my data for this year’s research. I’ll keep in touch with all of you as the year proceeds.