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Immature Magicicada Nymphs Found

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Immature Magicicada Nymphs Found

Immature Magicicada nymph from Long Island

Thanks to a very pleasant reader who submitted the below Periodical Cicada immature nymphs in the Dix Hills area on Long Island. These look like M. septendecim nymphs judging by those mud chimneys. Click on the thumbnails below for a bigger picture.

The reader also reports that an over-abundance of birds are located all over the property feasting on the nymphs. It looks like the process known as "predator satiation" has started early.

Only Probable Species on Long Island May be M. septendecim?

I have been doing some quick research on the history of Brood distributions on Long Island. The only available data at my immediate disposal dates back to 1923 and is available through the Cicada Central Website. While I'm not 100% sure - and we may need to confirm this - but it would seem that only M. septendecim is found on Long Island for Brood XIV which is the only Brood known to exist there. This would explain a lot and mayhap lend credence to C.W. Johnson's published paper entitled "The Importance of Local Ecological Studies to Entomology", which was given at the Annual Presidential Address for the Cambridge Entomological Society in 1909, he states the following:

Brood XIV (1923) which is confined to the Tertiary of the Cape Cod region extending northward almost to the town of Plymouth, seems to have reached New England by way of Long Island.

I find it highly coincidental that both Long Island and Cape Cod experience M. septendecim only. There is too much of a connection here. Periodical cicadas certainly didn't fly there, they don't fly all that far. Maybe back thousands of years ago, these areas may have been connected and that when the glaciers receded it created what we see now.

Speculation of Periodical Cicadas on Martha's Vineyard.

If you look at any satellite map of the area, you may see that at some point within the last few thousand years that Martha's Vineyard was part of the mainland and was no doubt joined to Cape Cod. So why are there no reports of Brood XIV there? The only known Brood that still exists on Martha's Vineyard is Brood VIII. Some have speculated that Brood VIII may in fact be a 6 year deceleration of Brood XIV. Brood VIII unfortunately, is slowly fading away on Martha's Vineyard. So if you are on Martha's Vineyard and/or Nantucket, we'd really like for you to pay close attention in your area and please report in.

The Importance of Negative Records

Remember, when submitting your Brood XIV Periodical Cicada sighting reports, we would also like to include negative data as well. If you believe that back in 1991 you experienced the Brood XIV in your area, it will be easy to check this against existing distribution maps. This type of data will give us indications of receding boundary lines which may be caused by a myriad of things like land developement, partial extinctions in some areas, diseases and other cool and interesting stuff.

05/07/08 - More Data Points from Long Island and Bourne, MA Checks In.

It looks like we have a positive data point submittal this evening from Bourne, MA on Cape Cod. It's good to see another town other than Mashpee checking in. There appears to be lots of emergene holes with nymphs inside.

Also my good friend and colleague Elias did an impromptu survey of areas on Long Island. He decided to look for signs of the periodicals that were spotted back in 1991. Some areas where they were in 1991 he was unsuccessful in finding signs of any kind. Others he was successful. Of course all the yellow pips on the map, which means negative sightings, will have to be rechecked during peak emergence there.

Date Posted: 2008-05-05 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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