Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 1, 2008 Cicada's

I thought since cicada's are such a huge part of our lives right now that I would do a post of the entries I've made to a Cicada yahoo group.

May 2, 2008
Hey Group Join me in welcoming Lisa to our group. Lisa and I have been communicating off and on over the past year since Brood XIII. Lisa lives on Cape Cod so she can give us the play-by-play about what's going on in her town.Welcome Lisa!
Gerry BunkerMassachusetts Cicadas

Thanks Gerry for the kind welcome, Hi everyone, 20 days away from emergence and I've located loads of holes...just waiting for the sun to come out and the weather to warm to see what happens ! I'll keep you posted !~Lisa~

May 21, 2008
So I thought I'd post what's happening here and largely the answer is nothing. Spent some time at Heritage Gardens in Sandwich and saw some promising holes, I was excited to see that Sandwich has some action.Also watching an area in my neighborhood with over a 100 holes but haven't seen sign of emergence yet. With temps reaching 80 on Monday could that be the night? Very exciting ! I'll keep posting !~Lisa~Mashpee

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for the update, I'm going to be on the cape this weekend to look for signs. Can you suggest areas to investigate?
Thanks Gerry BunkerMassachusetts Cicadas

Gerry, We spend a lot of time outdoors, but I honestly have to say I haven' t seen any more action then what is in my "back yard" Our neighborhood is littered with holes here and there, with a big grouping in a nice neighbors yard, that I'd be happy to show you if you wish. I'll be here Friday, Saturday & Monday if that works for you. As I mentioned Heritage Gardens had a few scattered holes but no numbers that I could tell.
Off to the playground and of course, Cicada hunting. I'll let you know if I find anything.

May 23, 2008
I took my son on a walk through of our neighborhood, it's a small association of families on a kettle pond and everybody is like family so they don't mind some poking around. We found a grouping of 30 or soholes under a huge pine tree which made me wondered if other pines and low growing trees were seeing as many holes. We took a walk between property lines and found huge groupings of holes all along the way. I'm so excited for this emergence I can't stand it. I also find very little enthusiasm with the neighbors about these "bugs", why can't I make them understand that the next time we'll see them my little guy will be 21years old ! It seems like a very small price to pay for once every 17 years. I'm doing what I can to make them see the light. Most of them are just boneing up on Raid...will that even work ?!?! Anyway, I guess my question is how are those of you, that have nymphs catching them ?Are you digging them up, or were they out of their holes ? I'd like to have one in the house for my son to watch, but didn't really want to disturb a hole if I didn't have to.Thanks,~Lisa~

HI Lisa
You can probably dig them up but you risk damaging them while digging. I would suggest turning over rocks and logs, for some reason you can find them milling around in little channels and tunnels beneath. I have attached a link to a page on my site for brood XIII last year when I went to Chicago early and found signs in just this manner. If you obtain some nymphs, I would get a large type jar or container (preferrably see-through) and fill it with dirt. Poke some holes down the sides of the jar in the dirt around 3/8 to 1/2 in diameter and gently place the nymphs in. Keep the soil moist. I would then place them in a dark place. Take them out of the dark occassionally to observe them then replace.
You will be able to tell when the nymphs are ready to emerge when they turn a darker brown with black spots on their backs just behind the head. When they get to this state, it is time to take something like a tree branch and place it in the soil. Soon the nymphs will crawl out of the dirt, climb the branch and then molt. Hope that helps.
I should be on the cape some time this weekend. I think if memory serves me correctly that there is a large wildlife management area along route 6 called Francis Crane WMA or something. I'll be checking this and other WMA's on the cape. If you'd like to get together this weekend to show me some areas that you know then email me off-group and I'll give you my cell.

So hunting today I found two nymphs. Tanish orange and quite shockedto be in the bright light. I did end up digging them up but managed to do it without harming them. They are now in a clear plastic container half filled with dirt, covered with nylon and elastic band hanging out in holes. How deep should the holes be ? I'm quiteimpressed with their size. Our digital camera broke on Thursday, the famous canon E18 error, which contrary to many websites wasn't as easily remedied as reported. My husband wanted to order a new one off amazon since he has a gift card....I had to go into super begging wife mode and explain that I couldn't be without a camera so close to the emergence. He's not very fond of the Cicada's, but being the great husband that he is humored me with a trip to best buy this afternoon. So I'm all set, let the molting begin~Lisa~

Hello Lisa,
I am impressed with your enthusiasm for this remarkable insect. Congratulations on your acquisition of two nymphs. I have been enjoying these nymphs for about 4 weeks now. Use the soil that they were found in. They don't need to be kept real deep. Make sure they are kept moist as dessication appears to be fatal. I mist their environment twice a day.
Have heard split opinions on their feeding in the fifth instar. I have am familiar with a paper by Beamer (thanks to Kathy Hill) regarding an experiment with potatoes placed over nymph burrows. The nymphs seemed to place their beak into the potatoes. It is not clear if they gained sustenance or moisture from them. The nymphs I had have not eaten. I have not tried the potato experiment yet. Some nymphs have almost black eyes, other have red.
Good luck with your nymphs. I have one male that successfully eclosed (molted). One got stuck while molting. He is still alive, a prisoner of his nymphal shell. He offers a beautiful view of the tymbals. You can see a picture of him in Newsday along with an immature nymph I found.,0,386101.story
Enjoy Memorial Day! Heading to the south shore to watch the Memorial Day air show.
Take care, Elias

Hey Elias,
Have fun at the air show. We had the thunderbirds here last summer and they were absolutely amazing. We live very close to the base so along with the performed stunts during the show, we were privy to their practice sessions that were even more impressive. If you have one handy bring along a scanner. We managed to pick up their frequency and it was amazing. Listening to cadence and watching the show simultaneously really made the whole experience incredible.Thanks for the tips on nymph keeping. I find myself a little impatient now that I have them and worry I might be doing something wrong. They are in a plastic juice bottle in holes about 6 inches deep running along the outside edge of the bottle so I can see them from the outside. So now I wonder, are the hole too deep, will theybe able to get out ? Is it to humid/dry in there ? I'm also storing them under my kitchen cabinets where it is almost always dark as Gerry suggested. I'm guessing our house temp is more then 65 so would think that the nymphs would start doing I said a little impatient.Great picture, as excited as I am about them, I've never actuallybeen through an emergence before. I moved here from Newport RI 9 years ago and I'm not exactly a bug fan. The fact that these amazing creatures only come once every 17 years intrigues me, I'm also a homeschooling mom so I'm usually open to anything educational. I did have to think about touching the nymphs I caught yesterday and decided it would be the first time of many in the coming weeks andI'd better get over it. It was not as bad as I thought and I'm glad I've cleared that hurddle. Glad to be free to enjoy them now.

Hi Lisa,

I think you are definitely getting cicada fever!
When you see one eclose, it is truly like witnessing a miracle of nature.
A day definitely makes a difference with these insects which is quite surprising considering how long they spend underground.
Look at the segment right behind their eyes. If it is white, they are immature and not yet ready. If the segment behind the eyes becomes black, then it should be a few days.
I make sure they are kept in a semi humid environment. Do put too much water or they will drown. Some of the nymphs I am keeping are not even in burrows. Darkness, warmth and humidity seem to help the most.
I have a male cicada now that eclosed a couple of days ago. Reportedly they take 4 - 6 days to fully mature. If I handle it, he is capable of producing a very low squawking noise.
Maybe later today after the airshow I will check out the park and see if an emergence is underway. Saw the Blue Angels in San Francisco once, they never disappoint.
Take care, Elias

Gerry your famous! May 24, 2008
Hey there, I just read your article in South coast today and it was great ! Here's the link hope it works ! for coming out today and visiting us, we all had a great time and enjoyed learning about the bugs. Elias, your right, I'm addicted. We found so many holes under a cinderblock today I nearly wet myself ! Very exciting !~Lisa~

Hey Lisa,
I just realized as I was going through my pictures that I did not take any photo's of you! Oh well, I'll be back down tomorrow and over the course of the emergence. I'm in the middle of doing a web site update of what I did today. hopefully I'll get it done this evening. The new map is already up with the data points that I collected today. You'll have to zoom in on Cape Cod though to see each pip separately. Cape Cod is getting crowded!! Gerry Bunker

this hobby is fun and the fact that you will witness a generation defining moment makes it even better. Imagine where you were 17 years ago, and where you will be 17 years from now when the eggs of this brood emerge next!
Gerry, congratulations my friend! Could not be happier. I got my thumb and hand in Newsday when I was holding an eclosing teneral so his tymbal can be seen. Also I held an immature nymph for a picture. I think they will mention me in their "in the field" follow up. Very thrilled to see the interest so high in this insect.
Take care Elias

May 25, 2008
So I started of this morning at @ 6am with a cup of coffee and a walk though the neighborhood hot spots, and found nothing more then the day before. I took my three cicada nymphs to my neice and nephews birthday party in RI today and they were very well recieved considering nobody there had ever seen them before.Our high temperature here today was 74 degrees. I just came in from a flash light tour of one of the areas with a high concentration of holes around a huge pine tree and found nothing. I scanned every inch of the trunk as far as I could see. Maybe I'm too early, maybe it won't be tonight. I'll be out there again first thing tomorrow morning to see if I can find anymore evidence of emergence. My three (female, thanks for showing me the difference Gerry) nymphs still haven't done anything,alas....they had a busy day. I'm off to bed. Happy Memorial Day!~Lisa~

May 26, 2008
I went for my early morning walk this morning and again didn't see any sign of emergence. I spoke with Taylor (the famous little girl from thewebsite) and she said they found another exuvia, this time a male. I didn't see it so I don't know for sure. They've returned to Boston butI'll be keeping my eyes open on their property for some more signs. No calling today that I noticed. High temperature of 76. I'll be poking around again first thing tomorrow morning, and will keep posting.~Lisa~P.S. Congrats Elias on your successful raising of a cicada, can't wait to see if your guy will call in captivity ! Good luck !~Lisa~

May 27, 2008
It was raining this morning and I babysit three little girls on Tuesdays so I didn't get out as early as I would have like to. Did some errands and decided when I was pulling in that I would take a peek around "Taylor's" house, see if anything was going on. In less then 30 seconds I had 3 exuvia's. Drove home, unpacked the kids, grabbed a bucket and headed up the road. In under 10 minutes we had 10 exuvia total 6 males, 4 females and on a blade of grass a fully formed adult Cicada. I thought it couldn't get better but it did with a lone call.We checked the other hot spots in the neighborhood with no luck at all.The kids were hungry so we're home and they're napping. We'll be taking another walk this afternoon. It's 68 degrees, humid and the sun is just starting to peek out. I'm guessing tonight's going to be the night. As I sit here typing I can hear one calling out the back door. What a beautiful sound.

May 28, 2008
Taylor's house is again the hot spot. I found one tree with 14 tenerals and obviously at least that many exuvia. I was also encouraged that when walking the path of holes that run through the neighborhood I found several exuvia on one of Janni's (a neighbor due East of Taylors) trees with a teneral as well, so it looks like it's starting but slowly. I didn't see any evidence of a mass emersion. It's 54 degrees here with a stiff North wind.

May 29, 2008
Just came in from my morning walk. I checked the temp this morning and was discouraged when it read 48 degrees. My weather station said it went down to 43 last night. Probably too cold for them to do much of anything, but I went anyway. As expected not much new activity. We've been removing exuvia when we find it so we'll know when there's something new. I found three new exuvia this morning but didn't see any teneral like yesterday morning. A pretty cool find was an exuvia sitting right in the middle of a lady slipper flower, it was very pretty and a got a couple of really nice pictures of it. So that's it for this morning. The day is supposed to be beautiful and warm so maybe it'll be enough.

May 30, 2008
I found lots of tenerals this morning. Between Taylor's yard and Janni's garden at least a hundred. Still not seeing any action in some areas with abundant holes however. Looks like the areas that are the warmest are seeing it first. Taylor's yard is in almost total sun all day, and Janni's garden is as well. Last nights low temp was 49 degrees.Yesterday I took 3 nymph's, 30 or so exuvia and one teneral to my son's story time at the library. The children's librarian used to be a naturalist at Green Briar Nature Center and is right now hosting "wild"story times. He incorporated our finds, and I had a chance to educate 30 or so children and their parents about these great bugs. I also encouraged them to check their own yards and report their finds to the mass cicada website. So hopefully we'll get some more participation from other parts of Sandwich. I stopped at Green Briar nature center on my way home, we spend lots of time there, I'm taking their naturalist course, we volunteer to feed their animals once a month. The head of their education dept was thrilled to see our collection and asked if she could keep them to share with her classes. So she's out there educating the public as well. The more, the better !That's my news for now. Have a great day everybody !~Lisa~

May 31, 2008
Saw about 50 tenerals again today, as per Gerry's request I have 10 in captivity, just in case they're already gone by the time he gets here. I was encouraged to see a more wide spread emergence, though still no really heavy numbers. In one yard I found several who's wings had failed to grow normally and wondered if it was from years of fertilizers use. I did find two in my own back yard which is kind of exciting, I'd seen no evidence at all of them being here...must be that sizzling bacon. My fears about the cape cod times column were unfounded and they actually did a pretty good job with their front page article.
That's my news for this morning.Have a great day everyone !~Lisa~

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Gerry for a great day of Cicada-ing. I had the pleasure of watching a cicada go from nymph to teneral today and thought it was really cool (your not alone Elias) Gerry invited me to tag along on a data point collecting mission. It was great fun, I managed to spot quite a few exuvia along the way, and enjoyed every right turn we made. The day has ended, but I'm even more inspired to continue the search for these amazing creatures. Thanks again Gerry !~Lisa~

You're welcome Lisa, all those cicadas we collected made it home to North Chelmsford, every one is still alive. I but them in mesh bags and put the bags over branches of a dogwood tree in my front yard. The males were even doing small alarm squawks. Hopefully in a few days they'll start to call (if the neighborhood cats don't get them).
I have tons of photos to sort through so there's no update tonight. Tomorrow though.
Thanks for all your help today. Gerry Bunker

June 1, 2008
Just a quick one this morning. Found about the same emergence as the last couple of days, 50 -100 adults. I was discouraged to see around the base of one tree 30 or so wings and partial cicada segments. Looking up I noticed a squirrels nest. Sad. Warm and humid here today 65 at 8:30am low temp last night was 57. Looking at temps in the mid 80's all week, if it's going to happen, this should be the week. Hope you all have a good day ! Happy Cicada-ing !~Lisa~

Hey All, On Saturday I went to Mashpee and collected tons of cicadas and did a lot of distribution mapping. I took tons of pictures, but I am finding it very tedious to create thumbnails that link to larger pictures so this time around I opted for a slide show. This saves alot of time. Eventually, I'll be embedding video right into my pages but for now, I have created a link which you can click on below if you want to view. Gerry Bunker Massachusetts Cicadas

June 3, 2008
I'm feeling fairly confident in saying the Cicada's have emerged. Our low temp for the last two days was 55, our high for yesterday was 82, today 87. All the areas in our neighborhood are showing signs of a mass emergence. Trees trunks, poles, houses, lawn furniture are covered with exuvia, Janni's shed had literally 100 Cicada's on it this morning,walking without stepping on them was nearly impossible. So much so we decided stop looking in some of the denser areas.I heard some calling briefly this morning just as the sun was coming over the tree tops, but no numbers. I'm assuming that should pick up in the coming week, if they live long enough and satiate the predators...we have some pretty hungry squirrels here, so bold in fact that one snatched an emerging teneral right off the screen of my sliding front door. We have some significant rain coming in tomorrow so hopefully that'll force any remaining hold outs, out of the ground so we can get on with the business of singing and mating !~Lisa~

June 4, 2008
Raining here this morning so I haven't been out poking around. I brought in a nymph last night that we watched eclose, then let it go in one of my plants on the deck. It's still there this morning along witha few new cicadas in my back yard. We did hear a single alarm call last night in front of our house but when I went looking for it I couldn't find it, way up in the trees I think. I finally uploaded all the pictures to my husbands lap top, then to shutterfly if you want to take a look here is the link. There's a great shot taken yesterday of a mass of exuvia under a very popular little tree. There's also one of Janni's fence loaded with exuvia and Cicada I took yesterday morning as well. Enjoy !~Lisa~

June 8, 2008
Still seeing emergence here,lots of females,although it seems to belessening. Our big news is the nearly continuous mass calling. I'mthrilled so many "made" it to be calling so clearly and so loudly. Theneighborhood Cicada junkies are now calling themselves the Cicadacrusaders and are frequently seens tiptoeing around the neighborhoodeyes to the ground, picking up those who are unwittingly hanging out onthe blacktop and relocating them to safer places in the trees.Janniworks at a garden center and has been fielding phone calls from peoplewanting to know how to get rid of them. She's been assuring them thatnothing needs to be done, and putting their fears to rest. Gerry ifyour still around, Janni made a suggestion and I told her I'd pass iton, right on the top of the website put something like Cicada's arefriends, not enemies, with a description of what they do and don't doto the environment. Many people don't seem to know where to look tofind that information. Off for my morning walk, hope everyone has agreat day !~Lisa~

Hello Lisa,
Looks like Cape Cod and Long Island may be back in 17 years. I first had my doubts after seeing what happened in Commack (all cicadas consumed by hungry black birds). I am sure the range will be reduced. So far no M. cassini or septendecula in our range. That is something I am not sure I understand well. I wonder if Brood X had any cassini or septendecula? They are extinct on L.I. so we may never know. Thanks to Gerry and John Cooley New York Newsday featured an article and interview with me appearing today in LI Life section page G11. Never thought I would get into the news with cicadas. Stay cool! The north east is baking in near 100 degree weather! All the best,Elias

I'm extremely confident we'll see them here in 17 years. Just cameback in from my morning walk and there are thousands of teneralcicadas out this morning. And some areas are so loud with males youcan't be heard over the din. It's absolutely amazing, enjoy Elias !xo,~Lisa~

June 11, 2008 ~ Gerry your famous~
Gerry, your interview last night on WGBH was awesome !Congratulations on a brilliant television appearance ! It was amazingto see a Cicada singing on TV, the ride in must have been quite theruckus! Danny (my son) was amazed when he realized it was you!You clean up pretty well! LOL !We've had some really hot days here, all in the upper 90's and theCicada's are loving it. We live in the valley of a kettle pond, but allaround us, especially in the undeveloped land behind our house theCicada's are in full chorus, almost from sun up to sun down. We've beensleeping with the AC's on so I haven't experienced their late nightsong. We still have active emerging taking place, but it's slowedconsiderably. I'm headed out to Hyannis & Dennis tomorrow (Thursday) soI'll be looking around out there see if there's any sign of activity.Have a great day everybody !

Hi Lisa,> Thanks for the compliment. It was tough getting the cicadas to sing in an climately controlled building. The temperature inside the jars they were in was warmer than the surrounding air so that was key to making it work.> I only experienced the Periodical Cicadas singing at night last year at Jubilee College state park and while I was there for a week it only happened one night and it was around 2:00 am in the morning. I think that temperature and humidity may be key to hearing them sing when the sun goes down.> Gerry Bunker> Massachusetts Cicadas>

Here's is the link to Gerry's TV appearance. Scroll down to the bottom and click noisy cicada's return to the cape.,~Lisa~

Woke up this morning to the now usual Cicada chorus. There must be good stuff in that tree sap because they sing nonstop from dawn to late afternoon. Seems like a lot of work for a quick mate and timely death. Took my morning walk and still found 100's of teneral's hanging around. It was pretty early so many were just peeking out. I made a few feable attempts at a male call this morning and was delighted to hear a wing flick in response to one of them. I figured now that they're calling, some females must be laying, so I looked around for evidence, browning leaves, slits in branches. Sadly, either I'm missing it completely or it's not happening at eye level yet. I think I need another lesson, Gerry where are you? Hope you all have a great day, happy cicada-ing !~Lisa~

HI Lisa,
I'm still around. I've just been busy with the web site and other personal matters. I plan on coming to the cape again tomorrow. I'm supposed to hook up with a reporter from the Cape Cod Times and show him around.
Could you do me a favor? I'll need more cicada tenerals for more experiments that I'm conducting here. If you are still seeing the tenerals can you grab around 20 males and 20 females for me and please keep them separated?
I'll call you tomorrow when I'm in the neighborhood and I'll have more information about those other experiments we were talking about.
Thanks Gerry Bunker

Hey FolksJust kidding about the film but I just wanted to report that when Igot back from that talk show the other day (I had brought male andfemale Magicicada specimens) When I put them back in the bagapparently I did not tie off the bag tight enough leaving a holearound an inch in diameter at the base. All my female cicadas escaped!!Oh well, I'm sure they made a tasty morsal for some predator aroundhere.I was going to start the second phase of my experiments but now Ican't without females. Thank goodness I'm heading back to the Capetomorrow.By the way, I just did a large web site update if anyone isinterested.LaterGerry BunkerMassachusetts Cicadas

LOL ! The website looks great Gerry, you have been very busy ! Sorry about your females. I have a whole batch of them down to replace the ones you lost. 20+ of each males and females in seperate sleeping quarters. and there's more where they came from. We took a walk this afternoon and saw an amazing number of tenerals for so late in the day. . Also I found a pair in what I presume is mating posture...rump to rump, dead. I saved them for you. Have a good night!

June 13, Cape Update
Hey Folks,I thought I'd give you an update on Cape Cod. Spent a good part ofthe day there yesterday and I'm heading back today.Spent a lot of time in Monument Beach today which is in Bourne, Ma.(or maybe its a separate town) things are weird down here.Anyway the chorusing is in full swing. Like on Long Island only M.septendecim can be found. I only found one or two specimensexhibiting signs of Massospora fungus infection but that may just bebecause its still early in the emergence?I've been keeping my eyes open for white-eyed cicadas but so far noluck. Found a few brown-eyed ones though.Been witnessing a few mating pairs and even some ovipositing offemales over a Lisa's place in Mashpee. It seems to me that thecicadas have a preference for Holly Trees because Lisa and I noticedmany ovipositing females in a few trees. Also I don't know if anyoneelse has noticed but Periodicals - at least M septendecim seem toshy away from pine trees. You can be in a deciduous and pine treemix forest and there will be no cicadas on the pine tree but rightnext to it in something like a scrub-oak will be full of them.Did a lot of off-roading in my new cicada research vehicle which isgreat because in these old-growth forests the cicadas seem to bedoing fine.I managed to film some of the behaviors that we have been talkingabout lately including:1). Getting a male to fly to my hand with simulated male call andfake wing flicking.2). Got a male cicada to third stage calling - while in copula!!3). Photographed a single male trying to mate with another male.Lisa you I thought I'd let you know that all the cicadas that yousaved for me made it back here ok, they are all alive. I found noevidence of female ovipositing in any of those old branches so theymay all be teneral, we'll see.Today, I think I'm going to hit parts of Plymouth county. I got someold records from John Cooley's group where a survey was done of sometowns in 1974. I'm going to try to see if the Cicadas are stillthere. LaterGerry Bunker

June 14, 2008
That's great Gerry, I'm glad they are all alive, well and teneral. Thanks to all you taught me yesterday, I'll be spending most of the day exploring Cicada behavior. I thought I might attempt to inspire a couple to mate. I'll let you know how it goes. The cicada whisperer I am not. Good luck in Plymouth today.

While driving to the cape today (i'm currently pulled over at a rest stop to write this email) Wireless internet and my laptop is AWESOME!!
Anway, do you remember when we were by that tree with all the males flying onto me when I was doing the fake wing-flicking?
Do you remember one of the males had a "higher-pitched" calling song or was I just hearing things. I should've recorded it!!
As you may or may not know John Cooley and David Marshall discovered a 4th species of 13 year periodical cicada known as "Neotredecim" but I don't think that one was found within the population of regular 13 year M. tredecim. Oh well, one could dream I guess but You do remember my comment about it right?
Later'Gerry Bunker

It is very awesome. Just don't try to type and drive at the same time !
Yes, I do recall a different sound yesterday, although I'll admit to not having the ear for it that you do. Were you thinking that maybe the high squeeler was a rogue Neotredecim or M. tredecim?
I had a chance to sneak out this morning before anybody was up and collect 5 or six of each males and female, brought them back to the grove and began calling to see what would happen. Seems I had some ready females because three of them started crawling all over me. I got the males to call a couple of times but nothing significant enough to get the girls going. They seemed to like me more. I did get a lone male later on to third stage call. Mike and Dan just went to a neighbors to try to reserect their lawmower, so I have some precious quiet time and new batteries for my camera to see if I can video this guy calling through all stages again.
Good luck !~Lisa~

June 14, 2008 update
As I wrote early I started off the day finding 10 adult cicada's. 5males, 5 females. I'd hope to witness some mating behavior with no positive results. The males called, the females weren't interested in them. I didn't have them confined to some went MIA. After an hourI had one male left. Ready Freddy has been my buddy ever since.Here's what I've learned from him:He is very happy just hanging out with me. He's spent nearly the entire day sitting on the front of my shirt. I've hung laundry, mowed the lawn, hunted more cicada's and he never moved more then an inch. He's always ready and calls whenever I do. I videoed him calling briefly to stage II, although I have on numerous occasions inspired him to call to stage III.He pokes me he's hungry, I provide a nice juicy young branch and he feeds and not just on the branch, but the leaves as well.I collected 20 or so more cicada's, assorted sexes and put them all in a shallow open plastic box. I marked Freddy's wings with marker(I don't want to lose him) I put my camera in the box and played my recording of Freddy calling that I'd made earlier. The other cicada's went nuts. The females flocked to the camera and literally sat on top of the speaker. I'm not sure what that was all about, they don't react that way when Freddy calls. I thought maybe they just liked the camera, so I turned it off and slowly they all backed away and went about their business. Strange. So I'm doing experiments now, ones I'm sure you guys did years ago. But it's new for me and I'm pretty excited about the results. As for Freddy, seems I have a new pet.~Lisa~

Hey Lisa,
Very cool experiments. It could be that the recording of Freddy has changed his pitch somewhat which makes the females interested. The reason Freddy is probably still hanging around you is that he's hoping that eventually he'll find the female that is doing the "wing flicking" and doesn't want to lose the chance. Keep on experimenting!! Gerry

Happy Father's Day guys ! Hope you all have a terrific day.It's eeriely quiet here today. Overcast and 57 degrees and not a cicadato be heard.Last night I notice a tree trunk in a shaded area of Janni's yard that appeared to be moving. Looking closer I realized that there were hundreds of nymphs working their way up this tree. The leaf litter rustled, and as I got closer to take another look I heard a tragic crunch under my feet. Every once in a while I'd hear something that I can only assume was a nymph fall from the tree. The area around this one very shaded tree was just now emerging ! It was the most unbelieveable thing I'd ever seen. Amazing. Apparently, I wore my little buddy out and by night fall could no longer trick him into calling. It was a long day of frustration for him, and thinking he'd done his duty I set him free to pursue a real wing flick.I agree with Elias...that never gets old.~Lisa~

Nothing like seeing an army of nymphs climb up a tree. That sound of leaves rustling is cool too. The entire forest comes alive!Enjoy Father's day as well Elias

Scratch Plymouth county
I think it is safe to say that Brood XIV is no longer in PlymouthCounty. I went to all the old recorded sights, Cook's Pond,Chiltonville and Manomet and I went to Myles Standish State Forest (avery cool place by the way) and many little ponds surrounding Cook'sbut there is just no evidence of Brood XIV in these places.I also stopped at Wompatuck State Park where I received a report (withphotos) of a two year early emergence of Brood XIV but alas, there wasnothing there either. Still can't explain that one.Brood XIV's Northern-most range just receded by about 75 miles.Gerry BunkerMassachusetts Cicadas

I think I spoke too soon. I just got a report from the Town of Plymouth. 5 to 50 skins spotted with 2 adults. little sandy pond rd. While I think I was pretty close to there (need to check my data) I saw nothing. But this came in last night. I will definately check it out. It could be that Plymouth County is running a few weeks behind. Gerry

That's great Gerry, are you down there today? I know that area fairly well, it's one street up from the ocean, probably cooler then inland, so it would make sense that they're coming a little later. I don't think you can gauge an emergence in Plymouth based on what's happening on the Cape. I'd (almost) go so far as to say that the island of the Cape has it's own climate. Winter and summer have verywide variables from the mainland. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Plymouth just hasn't popped yet. I can take a ride up there tomorrow if you want to have another set of eyes out on the road.Tell me where to look, I'll check it out.~Lisa~

Hi Lisa
That would be great if you want to do that. I'll send the complete address off-group. I checked where I was yesterday vs the positive sighting and I see that I was still north and east of that location, it is more southern so that could be a good sign. Gerry

So Dan (my 4 year old) and I left the Cape this morning excited to confirm the sighting in Plymouth. We drove up and down dirt roads,into the woods, stopped at restaurants, parking lots, doctor's offices and even went into Plymouth for a brief history lesson and didn't see any signs of Cicadas. We came upon a park ranger so Iasked him if he'd seen ny Cicada's around. He said "Oh,yeah...they're everywhere" I asked "Where" he said "Oh, they're allover, I hear them at night" At which point I realized he had no idea what either of us was talking about. He quickly said that's what he thought he was hearing in the woods behind his house in Bridgewater.I explained that they mostly call during the day, and not that far North and he was probably hearing frogs. He agreed it was a possibility.So as much as I'd like to, I can't confirm Cicada's in Plymouth.I looked for holes everywhere we went and didn't see any. I was glad when coming down Rt 130 I started hearing the hum, and seeing exuvia on the trees and grasses. I'll miss that sound when they're gone.My father lives just outside Richmond VA, I e-mailed him yesterday to make "reservations" at his house for 2011's Brood XIX and 2013'sBrood II. I think I submitted 15 or so data points so that should keep Gerry busy for a while.Elias that's great about your group! The more knowledge out there the better! Good Luck and have fun! Maybe you'll find that red hankie! LOL! Funny, I was sitting here by the back door when I heard a whistle, I looked over to the door and there's this beautiful male Cicada sitting on the screen singing to me. Very cool! Have a good afternoon everyone!~Lisa~

June 18, 2008
Hey FolksToday was a really crazy day on the Cape. I did some mapping in the north western part of the cape then around 9:30 - 10:00 am I met up with David Marshall and Kathy Hill from UCONN Storrs. They were with two other colleagues Ben Price and his girlfriend Louise who are visiting from South Africa.I took them over to the Frances Crane WMA and man the 'Decims were really screaming over there! Just getting there was cool because there were cicadas along rte 28 just flying around and banging into the windshield and everything.Unfortunately though, because I had my computer plugged into my Cicada Research Vehicle for mapping, a long time went by without the motor running so my 'puter killed my battery. This was long after David M. et. al. left. I didn't want to call them back to give me a jump so I asked our good friend Lisa to come and rescue me after a few hours of trying to get various local garages to come out to give me a jump.A nyway, while I was waiting for Lisa, I decided to walk along rte151 so she wouldn't miss the turn-off to the parking area and lo and behold, a white-eyed female decim! I took it home and snapped tons of photos which I will hopefully have on my web site soon.Thanks for rescuing me too Lisa. Well, that's it. My mapping got cut short today but it is definately peak time on the Cape!! Lots of mating and ovipositing going on.laterGerry Bunker

She's a beauty Gerry, no doubt about it. I'm happy to have had the chance to see one.This was a good example of everything happens for a reason!~Lisa~

June 21, 2008 Mashpee Update
The Cicada's must know it summer because their chorusing woke me up at 3am this morning and again at 4am. It lasted for about 10 minutes each time then resumed it's usual start time of about 5am. This is the first time I've heard them during the night. They are just about everywhere in Mashpee. They fly around all over the place, dead Cicada's are all over the roads, and the calls are deafening in some areas. I'm thrilled that there's such a large population. Still seeing some tenerals but few and far between now. Seeing evidence of ovipositing on smaller trees with wilting limbs. We're seeing many more mating pairs and many of the adults at eye level seem to be slow and lazy. I'm guessing post coital and dying. What an amazing experience this has been!~Lisa Gould~

Back from mapping!
Hey Folks After a week of mapping, its good to be back home. I'm sitting here in the office and I swear I am suffering from the "psycho-'decim"affect. It's when you've been in a chorus of Magicicadas for a week,then you go home and you hear individual males calling in your head. Anyway, I want to personally thank Lisa and her family for allowing us (Derke and myself) to take over her basement for three days of cool experiments. With the quiteness of the basement we got some really good data.I am also happy to report that I have found Magicicada in PlymouthCounty! In the town of Plymouth just over the Barnstable county line, there are pockets of septendecim. Unfortunately, some areas had light choruses while other areas had I'd say individual calling males. There were lots of females to be found also, down low in the scrub-growth ovipositing. I managed to grab two voucher specimens(females) and one male voucher. The males in plymouth proved very difficult to capture because they were all high in the trees. No matter how long I attempted to coax them down with the finger snapping, they just wouldn't budge.This is an indication to me on the density of the population in plymouth county. Still plenty of room in the treetops so there is no reason to be down low.I sure am glad for the Hummer. I got into places with that beast today that I would never have dreamed of going with a regular car.There were denser populations of Magicicada along a series of powerlines lined with dirt roads off Bournedale road. This area was very hilly and bolders were everywhere but they were no problem for the Hummer. Also Lisa, that Sandy Pond Road in Plymouth did indeed have cicadas there. It was light but they were there. So that positive-turned-negative can now be switched back to positive. Finally, I did find one dead cicada in a parking lot in Cedarville.I couldn't add this as a positive because quite frankly it could've arrived in the parking lot via someones car. No other specimens were found here so I have to discount it.Well, that's it. I'll have updates to the web site soon---hopefully.There's lots of data to compile still. This map of cape cod and the surrounding areas I am hoping will be the most detailed in the history of mapping the brood in New England. Later,Gerry Bunker

I've never been so happy being wrong! I'm glad you rechecked. I had a great time and appreciate all that you've taught me over the last month. Your time, energy and dedication to this quest is truly remarkable. Your welcome back here anytime! ~Lisa~

Has anyone read Marlatt's 1898 publication on the periodical cicada? It is awesome. Extremely detailed work. He even goes so far to show branches 17 years later that were scarred by female ovipositing! I went to the PDF and printed it out. Will likely bind it so I can read it easier. I must warn you,, it is 157 pages! Here is the link:^CAT10414167&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&UseQField=Accession&IntQFieldOp=1&ExtQFieldOp=1&File=&User=anonymous&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=15&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r85g16/r85g16/x150y150g16/i500&Display=hpfrw&DefSeekPage=f&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=1&SeekPage=f&Rank=1
Thanks to Dan for the tip. (Published on Cicada Mania)
If anyone has other papers worth reading please enlighten me.
Good night Elias

Thanks for the link. The pictures of the branches showing the ovipositing slits along with what the damage looks like 17 years later is amazing. I have a peach in my front yard that they seem to really enjoy ovipositing in, can't wait to watch these eggs grow into nymphs and fall from the tree. I'm early this morning enjoying the ebb and flow of the Cicada wake up calls. They started this morning at 4:03, fell off at 4:06, started again at 4:11 fell off at 4:15. Yesterday morning they started a little later but in the same pattern, a few minutes on, a few minutes off until finally at 4:30 the chorus was full blast and continuous.I hope I still have a few more mornings to enjoy them. Back to reading, thanks again for the link.

Hello Lisa,
It definitely demonstrates long longitudinal follow up!
Many of my captives are dying off. I have them in a 30 gallon aquarium with screen cover. I have placed young oak branches in 1/2 pint water bottles and they last for 3-4 days. This allows the cicadas to feed. 2 males called this morning. I can tell they are older because the calls have a raspy quality to them and a bit lower. One adjacent male did happen to let out a natural interference buzz which is always fun to hear.
Since Massachuesetts is farthest north, I would expect yours to be the last to go. You may even have some chorusing into July. Not sure if I will get out to Brookhaven again. The numbers were definitely dropping exponentially by the day.
Take care,

Hello Elias,
How sad that you might not have the opportunity so spend time with these guys again until 2011. I take if for granted the noise and the three males that are at the back door right now screaming away for mate. We had thunderstorms roll in this morning just after the chorus started full swing, and they continued singing through it. In the past I've always noted that they stopped when the rain came, but not this time. Maybe because they had just started and were highly motivated to continue?
I like the intereference buzz as well. Derke had a name for it that's slipped my mind. Maybe Gerry remembers what it was?
17 Years is a pretty long commitment, still, If I'm able I'll be either right here, or back to witness the next emersion. I know it sometimes happens that some of a brood will appear 1 or even 2 years early. Does this work on the late side as well. Is there any hope of witnessing this on a very small scale early next June?
Enjoy your mini brood for as long as you can.
Take care,

Hi Lisa,
Derke referred to the interferrence buzz some where along the lines of "penis blocker buzz" you get the idea though. After all, this is a family group :)
If you want to get the full affect still, you should stop by the national cemetery on cape cod. I am here now but I'm heading back. I needed to grab some specimens for a fill shoot. Doesn't seem to be too much flagging here so that may be a good sign that there is still a few more days. Tons of males down low with healthy-sounding calls.
Oh and that female white eyed cicada? As of this morning, she is still alive and kicking.
Later Gerry

I do remember, thanks for the refresher. Cock blocker buzz was the term. We still have plenty here, singing like crazy and ovipositing all over. We have some flagging but not as much as some other areas. It's really amazing, even some branches down this morning after the rain. I'm going back out later to get pictures of the more devestated areas.
Congrats on the white eyed female, too bad the male didn't make it back to her!
Good luck with the shoot!

July 2, 2008 Mashpee Update
Things here have been pretty much in full swing. Most mornings start with off and on chorusing between 3:30 and 4:30. Seems between 4:30 and now closer to 5am that the full constant chorus begins for the day. Today was unusual. The chorusing is quieter and seems to be only in the tree tops. I have no males calling down low, no females ovipositing. a matter of fact none to be seen at all. If it weren't for the chorus I'd think they were gone. The beginning of the end I fear. ~Lisa~

July 4th, Mashpee update
I've been rising at the first chorus of the Decim's since they started calling. This morning the first chorus was at 5:30, and even now at 7:30 is only intermitent. The flagging on the trees is blatently apparent and the roads are now littered with branches, you'ld think a big storm just blew through. I guess it's time to break out the flashlight and start hunting for annuals. Back to the drawing board! ~Lisa~

Hello Lisa,
As fast as they come is as fast as they die. I observed this closely with the Brookhaven population. They die rapidly, and one day makes a huge difference in numbers. When I collected specimens to bring home they died in an extremely rapid fashion. Nothing I could do can keep them alive. The amazing thing is, it seems like an internal battery is depleted. I have observed them just lose grip off a branch and drop dead onto the ground. The last part of the lifecycle is to observe first instar nymphs. Have to keep a lookout for them.
Take care, Elias

July 5 Mashpee Update
Hope you all had a terrific 4th. We had some rain this morning but the sun's trying to peek out now and the Cicada's are still singing although much more quietly.I have a question. Is anybody doing or have done expermiments on raising nymph's in captivity to see what effect enviromental factors such as temperature, moisture, light, etc have on the year of emergence? ~Lisa~

Nobody has successfully raised Magicicada nymphs from babies! It would be awesome if somebody had the patience to try! There is one study from Karban where he got 15yr nymphs and put them on trees in a greenhouse and then made the trees go thru two leaf-outs and got them to come out in 16yrs. But that is the only study I know where anyone tried to raise Magicicadas. There are a couple studies where people transplanted nymphs into different places to see if 17s would still grow up in 17yrs in 13yr territory etc, but that is not really rearing them. Right now Dave and John C and I have hybrid Magicicadas from 17 and 13yr crosses in the ground that we have to go dig up at some time, but we are not rearing them either.
People have raised other cicadas successfully, but Magicicada are the most interesting since they are obligate 13yrs or 17yrs.
Later, Kathy

I'm going to give it a try. I have a hybiscus that can probably withstand ovipositing, and can handle quite a bit of pruning, and could be kept indoors in the winter. That's assuming that 1) the females like hybiscus and 2) there are still enough female around who haven't already oviposited. Things are pretty quiet here right now. Thanks for the info Kathy!

Do Annual and periodical exuvia look the same?
Is there any way to distiguish the exuvia from an annual from the exuvia of a periodical? Now that the periodicals are slowing down I'm eager to start looking for some annuals, however we have so many exuvia around unless they look different, I could never tell them apart. I was excited this afternoon when I heard a fairly high pitch whistling that sounded suspiciously like a Tibicen cannicularus, after several minutes of looking my hunt proved futile.Thanks,~Lisa~

Its been my experience that exuvia from Magicicada are longer,thinner and straighter than exuvia from say the Tibicens. Tibicen exuvia have a more "hunched-over" appearance are fatter and are slightly darker in color.
Hope that helps. Gerry

Thanks, Gerry!

Hello Lisa,
I agree with Gerry's description. I am sending links to visuals so you can get a better idea.
A tibicen nymph. Note the dark eyes and greener wing buds
6th photo down is a beautiful lateral closeup of a Tibicen spp. nymph exuvium.
Here is the phot of a Magicicada exuvium. Lighter in coloration and more elongated abdomen:
Hope this helps you in your quest. The differences are pretty interesting to me as well.
I am in a cicadaless period here. Last Magicicada died on July 2nd and awaiting the coming of the Tibicens. Usually here in north eastern Queens we get T. chloromera and T. linnei.
Take care,Elias

Thanks Elias,
Those are terrific pictues, I have a much better idea of what I'm looking for now. 3.5 mile run through the woods this morning and I didn't hear or see anything other then the decims. I'm sorry your without, I could mail you some! We're still chorusing here although not much flying around anymore and I can't for the life of me find one female never mind one that hasn't oviposited. I think I might have to skip the ovipositing part of my experiment and try to collect 1st instar nymphs when they hatch, and inseminate the tree with them. I figure a couple of hundred should suffice. Thanks again for the great links,
and have a terrific day!

Good to know thanks, maybe I'll go back out again this afternoon. Send me your address, I'd be happy to ship them!

I may be tempted. Cicada withdrawal is serious LOL. Anyone have tips on shipping live cicadas? I would think a box is needed with a branch to feed from attached to a small portable water supply. Has this insanity been done before LOL!! Elias

18 days and counting
Hey Folks,I just wanted to let you know that the White Eyed female cicada Ifound on the 18th of June is still alive. I checked it this morningas I do every day and it was happily feeding. Every so once-in-a-while it will oviposit for a few hours then stop.This is the longest I've had a cicada in captivity. Periodical,Annual or otherwise. Females generally seem to be longer-lived thanmales. My previous record was a T. lyricen var. engelhardti femalewhich lasted 14 days. I think it might have something to do with thedesire to perpetuate its species.I'm thinking that maybe the reason it is still alive is perhaps theJuniper bush may not be the proper medium for it to oviposit itsegg. It may be having a hard time. I'll move it to another tree inmy yard to see if it continues to oviposit.Gerry BunkerMassachusetts Cicadas

Hey Gerry, that's great....glad to hear MY white eyed is still alive and well LOL! I suggest a fruit, cherry, pear, or peach...they love all three of mine, or Oak and birch, seems to be highly flagged here as well.
Hope you have a great day!

July 9, 2008 Mashpee Update
Still have chorusing here this morning, it's high in the trees and light but still going. Did see some and hear some rogue males yesterday. Cape Cod times had an interesting article on some uses for dead Cicada's can't imagine these are going to smell fresh for very long!Have a good day,~Lisa~

I heard my first T.lyricen today. A 2 miles stretch of the Cape Cod canal had several this morning. Unfortunately, they were in the tree line, behind tall grasses and poison ivy, I didn't go in looking for them. Now I need to find where the T. cannicularus are hiding!
Have a good night,

Hi Lisa
Frances Crane WMA was loaded with them when I checked it out last year. Also if you want to hear a lot of T. lyricen go to Falmouth along 28 south heading to the town-proper. Tomorrow I'm off hunting O. rimosa again. I want to grab a few more specimens before they are gone, if not already.
I've yet to see cicada killers this year so far. That is a good sign, when the cicada killers appear the O. rimosa are gone.

Thanks for the tip Gerry, I'll check it out. Good luck with O. rimosa today!~Lisa~P.S. No chorus this morning, I think the Decims are gone :-(

July 13, 2008 Mashpee Update
Well, guys this is probably the last update from here as far as the Magicicada's are concerned. At least until the nypmh's start to fall from the trees and start the process all over again. The chorus is gone, and there are no signs of Cicada's anywhere. Although I think I just heard a lone male out my backyard door. Or it could be my imagination hoping to hear it one last time. I'm sad to see them go. Just uploaded my most recent pictures if anybody wants to take a look. Dan and I went off in search of Annuals yesterday at the Francis Crane WMA and found no signs or sounds of them. We did find a cool butterfly, a pretty orange flower and a blue jay feather. Dan is a fearless Cicada hunter now! We have lots of flagging around which I tried to capture, but it doesn't look quiet as impressive in the photos. Just heard a canicularis outside the back door, so I'm off to take a look. Have a great day!~Lisa~

17 years done for the year?
On Jul 15, 2008, at 1:33 PM, Rachel Landry wrote:> Hi there!>> I was down at the Cape collecting a few 17-yrs, about three weeks or > a month or so ago… I didn’t have good luck – theyre trickier to > catch than I imagined! I got about 20 in all (probably 40 total, but > I release the females). I think I hit a location in peak activity, > because they were movin’! I intended to go back to get a bunch when > they were dying off. But I think I may have missed the dieoff… I > live in N. RI and would hate to waste the money on gas to verify if > the show is over – and any remnants of cicadas are being picked over > by ants!>> Can you clue me in on what the level of activity is in various hot- > spots on the Cape?>> Thank you in advance,> -Rachel>

From my reports, they are done, but I'm cc'ing this to the cicada group in case any body knows of some remaining spots....John Cooley

Hi Rachel and John,
I live in Mashpee and I'd say a trip here would be a waste of time and money. I've traveled between Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich in recent days and have seen no activity anywhere. They were amazing while they lasted. If your inclined there are lots of canicularis around, but ever harder to catch the magicacadas.

Cape Cod times Cicada article - John Cooley 7/22/08
Hey Group,Just wanted to post the link to the Cape Cod Times Cicada article, there's a blurb at the end from John Cooley. NEWS/807220318Enjoy,~Lisa Gould~

Hello all,
Here in Bayside, T. chloromera are really active. This is a good year unlike last year where the numbers were much less. The choruses start as early as 5:30 AM sometimes. The hotter the day, the earlier and later we will hear them. 2 days ago even heard an evening chorus with some T. linnei thrown in.
Took a 3 block walk this AM and found 5 eclosing chloromera. One experienced arrested development and was halfway out. Found 3 of them on a pine tree curiously enough.
Earlier today went out to Dix Hills to search for first instar nymphs. The branches containing the sites of oviposition were markedly scarred! They all seemed to fuse into one gash. Wonder how the branches survive this assault. No nymphs seen. Hoping to get lucky. Entering the 6 - 8 week hatching window. Any luck in other parts of Brood XIV territory?
Heard T. lyricen and T. canicularis calling out in Dix Hills. We lack T. canicualris in Bayside for some reason. Take care all,Elias

Hey Elias,We just got back from the Francis Crane WMA and didn't hear or see anything. I checked lots of trees for ovipositing and broke open some branches to check on the progress and found what I'm guessing are still eggs? They looked like a very small grains of rice just under 1/8th of an inch long. I broke maybe 10 healthy branches and found the same thing in all of them. Congrats on your chloromera, I'm still hunting cannicularis and lyricen here with no luck!Enjoy your tenerals!~Lisa~

July 30.2008
Hey all, I found today what I think might be a Canicularis exuvia, it's
darker then the magicicada's but about the same size. Does that sound

Hi Lisa,
yes, that sounds exactly right. It would also show a curvature to the back much like the shape of a "comma". Magicicada exuvia are "straighter" in appearance. Gerry

August 22, 2008 Mashpee Update
Utilizing Elias' technique of catching 1st instar nymph's I aquired one
this afternoon. I used a burgundy fleece blanket and laid it out below
some highly flagged trees and shook them. After several vain attempts I
finally found one. I took a quick but slightly blurry video of it
walking across black construction paper. It's so small my camera
couldn't focus in close enough to see much detail. Even so I'm thrilled
to have experienced the magicicada cycle in it's above ground entirety.
The magicicadas may be gone but the hunt for annuals and Cicada killers
~Lisa Gould~

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