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Massachusetts Cicadas in Virginia Mapping Brood XIX.

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Massachusetts Cicadas in Virginia Mapping Brood XIX.

Brood XIX in Virginia - Massachusetts Cicadas

Hey Folks,

I'm here in Williamsburg, Virginia mapping the northern-most range of the Brood XIX periodical cicadas. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and drove all of 12 hours to get here. Unfortunately, Brood XIX's distribution in Virginia is historically spotty at best. There are only minor emergence areas and some can be less than a mile wide. Not only is Brood XIX known to be in Virginia but there is a small area on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

My friend and colleague, John Zyla from Cicadas.info has been researching and maintaining records of all the different broods of periodical cicadas for the mid-atlantic states. In fact John was the one that discovered the small brood of periodical cicadas in Maryland in 1998. But John's research isn't just limited to periodical cicadas. John also studies, reports and maintains distribution maps on annual cicadas for the mid-atlantic states as well.

Since I had some free time I emailed John and told him I was coming to Virginia to see what there was to see and do some mapping. He asked if I would be willing to lend a hand with his project. I of course accepted on the condition that we each share our data.

Our strategy is to divide up the known ranges for Brood XIX into areas north and west of Williamsburg and areas south and east of Williamsburg. I will take the southern mapping area and John will take the northern area. I am glad that I have a week!

Preliminary Findings: Periodicals in Ashland and Hanover, Va.

To be honest, I really wasn't expecting to find any periodical cicadas during my drive to Williamsburg. After crossing the Potomac River while driving south on Rt 301, I crossed the Virginia border and decided to roll down the windows to hopefully start to hear periodicals. Sure enough approximately 45 minutes after crossing the river I began to hear M. tredecassini in small pockets along 301. The area was only about 2 miles long and was over rather quickly.

I did manage to document not only M. tredecassini but also M. tredecim as well. The towns of Ashland and Hanover are approximately 35 miles north and west of Williamsburg and the areas between these locations seems to be relatively silent but that's just base on my drive on a single highway. There could be other areas

Specimens Obtained in Williamsburg.

Thanks to the reports that I have received from this area, decided to try and obtain some specimens today at sunset after I went out to dinner and obtain a local map.

I managed to obtain 3 specimens at around 7:30 this evening while driving around a known area that was reported to this site and is on the distribution map. I found three specimens, 2 dead and one alive on the side of the road. There were more but I only grabbed three. It was earily silent though. There was no calling from the males even though it was in the 80's and humid. There were several thunderstorms that rolled through earlier in the day so I'm hoping that I'll hear some calling tomorrow. Oh and the specimens I was able to obtain were all M. tredecim

Below is a photo of the live female M. tredecim. Sorry that's all I got for you today. Tomorrow I'm supposed to meet with some people who are going to show me around Williamsburg and the areas where they are hearing the cicadas.

Talk to you soon.

Date Posted: 2011-05-28 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments

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