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Brood XIV Plymouth County Survey Work

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Brood XIV Plymouth County Survey Work

Aggregation of M. septendecims Cape Cod

As of today, I have received no reports of Magicicada in Plymouth County. So, to that end, I decided that I would spend the day there chasing down old records. The University of Connecticut at Storrs collected data from published papers back in 1923 that indicated that Brood XIV could be found in a few spots. I visited those spots today. They were Cook's Pond, Chiltonville, Plymouth and Manomet but I found no signs. I also spent a good part of the day surveying the Myles Standish State Forest which is an awesome place. Alas, though, there was nothing. This may be a great site though for annual cicadas.

Distribution Maps Updated Again.

This perhaps is the longest part of this whole exercise. I added over 100 additional data points to the map today. All right they are mostly negatives because they are in Plymouth County but they had to be checked out. You will notice one "red" pip on the map. This came from someone right where the cicadas should be so this area will have to be thoroughly checked out.

You'll also notice that further north there is one lone yellow pip on the map. This is because in 2006 I received a photograph from a woman who visited Wompatuck State Park then and her son discovered a Magicicada nymph along a path. While my initial investigation turned up nothing, it still warranted an investigation today. Unfortunately though, when I visited, I found no signs of Magicicadas whatsoever. You can read more on that Magicicada nymph found at Wompatuck State park by clicking here.

No Cicadas So Back To the Cape!

Man spending the day in Plymouth County was mind-numbingly boring. I mean don't get me wrong, I had tons of fun with my Cicada Research Vehicle exploring the Plymouth Town Forest in an "off-road" capacity but I was missing the cicadas and all the action on the Cape so I headed back there around 5:00 pm. I spent a good hour and a half doing more distribution mapping and stopping at the Frances A Crane WMA to collect some specimens.

I then proceeded along Boxberry Hill Rd starting at Rte 151 East and heading east ending up on Sandwich Rd. Some areas along this road while being positive also had areas where there were no signs of Cicadas whatsoever especially where Boxberry Hill Road bisects Cape Cod Country Club.

Road Aggregation!

M. septendecim aggregationI stopped alongside Sandwich Road where it borders the Francis Crane WMA in Falmouth because something caught my attention. There were a ton of male Magicicada septendecims all aggregating in a single small tree right along the side of the road. The traffic was so loud here (its a busy road) that the males' calling song could not be heard above the noise.

Male M. septendecimsIt is believed that male cicadas like to aggregate in specific trees in order to better afford the opportunity to attract the females. This better increases their chances for mating. In addition when so many males come together in the same place, it helps to thwart predators because it is very difficult to localize a single calling male Magicicada among a chorus of thousands. But it looks like these guys selected the wrong spot because I was even having difficulty hearing their chorus due to the traffic noise.

Time to Head Home

As previously stated, most of my time was spent today in Plymouth County checking on old records so not much was done on Cape Cod. I am hoping to return to the cape mid-week some time to do more mapping. Hopefully, I'll see you there and please keep those reports coming in!

Date Posted: 2008-06-14 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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