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Sit and Wait for Cicadas Still Holds True

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Sit and Wait for Cicadas Still Holds True

Male Cicada Killer

Pine Grove Cemetery, Westford - Last night we had very bad thunderstorms roll through our area. Power went out around 7:00pm and didn't come back on till after 11:00 pm. Lots of trees blew over and there was even some hale. Not much to do during that time. However, I was curious as to the devastation that may have occurred in the Cicada Killers' burrows, so I went back today to have a look.

Female Cicada KillerWhile the burrows were still wet from all the rain the previous evening, there was not much damage. One Cicada Killer female was observed doing some maintainance on its burrow for about an hour. The others were already out hunting for Cicadas.

Since I am here, I decided to sit and wait to see what the Cicada Killers brought in. Sure enough 4 more Cicadas were brought in in the course of an hour and a half. 3 were Tibicen lyricen and out of those two were male and one was female.

Also a Tibicen canicularis was brought in and it was a male. Tibicen canicularis cicadas are quite small and when you factor in the fact that a male T. canicularis' abdomen is mostly hollow, it makes you wonder how much nutritional value is gained for a Cicada Killer larva. I would suspect that a female Cicada Killer may have to bring in several T. canicularis even for the males who usually only get one Cicada.

Male Cicada Killer waspI also got up the courage today to offer a male Cicada Killer wasp my index finger to perch on in order for it to survey its domain. The image to the left shows the wasp on my index finger. It didn't stay there long because it was off in a flash to chase another male away that entered its territory.

Once you get over the notion that these wasps sting (which is very doubtful) I find that I am quite comfortable around these wasps.

The above images are of the Cicadas brought in by the female Cicada Killers today. Their morphologies have been recorded and entered into a database. The specimens were then donated to Dr. Chuck Holliday of Lafayette College who is studying Cicadas that have been stung by Cicada Killers. Visit Dr. Holliday's Cicada Killers web site for some great information on Cicada Killers.

Date Posted: 2005-07-28 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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