Three Additional O. rimosa Specimens!
News Category: Cicada Projects
Three Additional O. rimosa Specimens!
That's right folks. I went back to the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area on Saturday July 7th and caught more O. rimosas!! I don't know if it was because it was 07/07/07 and the day was lucky, but I can tell you it was harder than I thought.
I went prepared with plenty of water and my big extension net. I only managed to snag one specimen with the net because the others were too well protected in the pine trees which made them difficult to spot and when trying to use the net, they were too far inter-twined in the branches in order for me to get a good position to sweep the net properly.
I stayed there from about 10:00am but didn't really start to catch any Rimosas, though I could hear them in the trees, until later in the afternoon. At that time, they seemed to start calling from low bushes. After around 6 tries, I managed to catch two additional specimens by hand. Once they see you coming, they aren't like regular Tibicens that bolt as soon as you get near them, these O. rimosas stay very still. However, your aim when trying to catch them by hand better be accurate, the slightest mistake and they're off like a shot!
Second-Style Call Noted in O. rimosa males.
I noted a second-style call from these specimens that sounded like a "chirrrrrrrrrr-up" sound with pauses of 3 to 5 seconds in between. At first I thought this may be due to a female being in the area and that the males went into second-stage courting mode, but prior to catching the specimens by hand at low ground, I noted this call on several of the males I was stalking with nary a female in site.
I even tried the ole "finger snapping" to imitate a wing flick. It seemed to work in that the males would respond back with their own wing-flick. Like a "chirrrrrrrr-up" then a wing flick.
An Increase in Calling Activity Late Afternoon Noted for O. rimosa.
I don't know too much about this species. I may have to go back next weekend to collect more and note this behavior. I think a good digital recording of this second type of call would really do me well. There is also an increase in the frequency of calling that seems to happen well after noon time with more of them calling at ground level.
Since Saturday July 7th, two of the four specimens have died. The one I caught on June 30th died on July 8th. Not bad considering it happily called in captivity all that time. One of the new specimens I caught got stuck between a branch and the mesh bag and just sort of died there. That happened July 9th. Too bad because on Sunday July 8th before it got cloudy it was a site to hear all three of them calling in the mesh bag. What a racket they can make! This is similar to what happens in the wild when they like to get together and start to sing in light aggregations. Click the thumbnails above and to the left and right. These guys are now pinned and spread and will soon go into my collection.
O. rimosa Up Close and Personal.
It's not every day that I get to study this particular species during cicada season. After all, it has taken 4 years to try and find O. rimosas here in Massachusetts. There are a few things that I noted about them though.
For instance, they have exposed timbals (no covers like regular Tibicen cicadas) and also their similarity in color to periodical cicadas often lead to their mis-identification. A fine pubescence has been noted on the tergites and sternites of the abdomen. As you can see in the close up above and to the right, O. rimosa's tergites have a noticeable orange strip on the bottom of each section similar to periodical cicadas. Click here for a comparison. The image at the link shows the abdomen of an M. septendecim with deformed wings. You can clearly see the same orange banding on the bottom of the sternites in this specimen. The image to the left shows a side by side comparison of an M. cassini from Brood XIII and an O. rimosa that I caught recently.
Western Cicadas Received in the Mail!!
A big heart-felt thank you goes out to my friend and colleague Tim McNary for sending me a nice little care package containing 9 cicadas from 7 different species. These are truly a great prize. One of my goals is to try to collect cicada specimens from all the states in the union. Though it was recently told to me by Prof. Chris Simon at the University of Connecticut's EEB Lab that Hawaii does not contain cicadas. Too far out in the ocean.
Tim McNary is a member of Massachusetts Cicadas' Cicadidae group and has compiled the foremost bibliography on Cicadidae in the form of a searchable database. Virtually every paper known to have been written on US cicadas as well as some from around the world can be found there. You can access his bibliography on Cicadamania. Keep a spot open for me Tim! Click the thumbnail above and to the left.
Top row and starting from left to right we have (3) Okanagana synodica, (1) Platypedia usingeri, and (1) Okanagana bella. Bottom row left to right we have (1) Okanagana hesperia, (1) Diceroprocta eugraphica, (1) Cacama valvata and (1) Beameria venosa.
For my next update, I am going to compare similarities between O. rimosa and the specimen of O. bella from the above collection that I received from Tim. These two species at first glance seem very similar but upon closer inspection there are some differences.
Reader Mail Coming In
Thanks to all the readers who have been sending me email with your cicada and cicada killer sightings and questions about cicadas and cicada killers. Also thanks to those who have filled in the Report Cicadas and Cicada Killers form and sending me in your photos and data information. It is very helpful. Please keep them coming in.