Okanagana rimosa Found in Concord New Hampshire
News Category: Cicada Missions
Okanagana rimosa Found in Concord New Hampshire
Hey, remember back on June 11th of this year I researched a possible new site for O. rimosa based on pine barren habitat that looked promising? It was an area in Concord, New Hampshire underneath some power lines along Pembroke Rd. I went there that day to do some investigating based on habitat experience for the species but the day was overcast and cool with no signs of O. rimosa anywhere. As I mentioned in that article, I would probably need to return on a nice hot day in order to confirm their presence.
Well, I went back today (June 19th) and guess what? Okanagana was calling! You see? One cannot rule out the presence of a cicada species based on only one day of surveying. Let that be a lesson for you. :)
This is great news! Not only because I found them but also this area is just 61 miles from my home! I walked along underneath the power lines at Pembroke Rd at around 9:00 am in the morning. When I got into a forested area, I began to hear them calling in the high trees. I even had an opportunity to catch several on low-lying scrubby plants early in the day but alas, I was unsuccessful in obtaining one from this location. Still though this site looks very promising.
Other Areas Around Concord, NH
I surveyed the Pembroke Rd area for several hours but wondered if there were other areas around Concord that may yield better results. Driving around town it seemed that O. rimosa, while calling, could only be found in patchy forested areas. One of these areas was known as the Karner Blue Butterfly Easement. The Karner Blue Butterfly Easement is an area cordoned off on both sides of Chenell Drive next to the Concord Municipal Airport. This is where they are trying to re-introduce the Karner Blue Butterfly. Okanagana was calling throughout this area mostly in the tall pines. The habitat is very similar to the area underneath the power lines on Pembroke Rd.
Voucher Specimen Caught!
The Karner Blue Butterfly Easement is a nice area with several walking trails and is easy to navigate. There is a ton of low-lying vegitation that made it promising for catching an Okanagana. It was getting towards the end of the day when around 3 pm I heard a lone Okanagana rimosa cicada calling from a single pine tree approximately 10 feet high. The tree was surrounded by low scrub vegitation that made it easy to zero in on. As I got close to the tree of course it stopped calling, but after 5 to 10 minutes of looking, I spotted the cicada about 9 feet up underneath a pine bough extending from the main trunk. Working my net very carefully, I managed to flick the cicada into the net.
Okanagana rimosa Alarm Squawk.
"When I removed the cicada from the net, it let out a male cicada's signature alarmm squawk which to me was quite loud for a very small insect. If you click the thumbnail on the right, this video was taken immediately after capture. You can see for yourself what I'm talking about. Studying the cicada closely, I could see some differences in its morphology when compared to other areas where I have found and captured O. rimosa specimens but those differences will be discussed in a later article.
Other Potential Areas for Okanagana
With my success in capturing a specimen I decided to look further around the Concord Area and managed to find a sand pit underneath some powerlines. This habitat is essentially the same as the other areas only it is massive because the area under the powerlines stretches for miles. It is lined with pine and other deciduous trees and in some sections there is a river. This area is located off of Chenell Dr. and is kind of difficult to get to but still it will need to be surveyed in the very near future.
Back to Pembroke Rd.
I stayed to survey the Concord area longer than usual. I decided that I would try my luck one more time back at Pembroke Rd. I figured that some time during the day, the cicadas may come down to the lower scrub brush areas to feed and some may start to call thus making them easier to capture. Sure enough this is exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I tried to net and hand-capture two specimens but they were just too quick for me. The only thing that I managed to do was get bitten by these annoying flies that buzzed around my head during the day. Man these guys are annoying as hell. They are from the Genus Chrysops - a species of deer fly. That's why its always good to go into the woods with some sort of insect repellant or wear a baseball cap to swat the flies away.
I decided to call it a day and to head on home. Below are some photos of the specimen I netted today at the Karner Blue Butterfly Easement in Concord, N.H.. Note the white spot on the pronotum of this specimen. At first I thought that this may be some sort of mite infestation but after examination under extreme magnification, it may just be sap resin from a pine tree. I think I'm going to return to this area tomorrow to see if I can broaden the distribution range around Concord and to hopefully capture more specimens.
More Wildflower Photographs
Below are some images of some wildflowers that I photographed at the Karner Blue Butterfly Easement. If I have mis-identifed any of these, please let me know.