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Early Magicicada Emergence in Hingham, MA

Sightings Category: Cicadas

Early Magicicada Emergence in Hingham, MA

We discovered this bug & have been trying to id it for a few weeks. Our last quest had people guessing that it was a late blooming Magicicada type. It was discovered in a small hole about 1/2" wide in a trail at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA on June 30th. I've attached 4 photos. We did not remove it from the hole because, quite honestly, I was afraid of it. My 3 year old discovered it.

Thank you for taking a look at the pictures I've attached. We really appreciate your input. (The pics are titled antlion because a park ranger suggested that when we showed him the pictures).

Thank you again,

Jeanine, Gabe & Jake

Date Posted: 2006-07-18 Comments: (4) Show Comments Hide Comments


Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2010-12-13 | Website:

Hi Gabriel,

Please tell me that you know where that is. I'd be very interested in having a look around, quite possibly this weekend. What county are you in???

Please get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you

Posted By: Gabriel | On: 2010-12-13 | Website:

We were on a quest at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham MA. The only way for me to explain where we found it is to send you the quest & you'd be able to follow the clues to the exact location. No, this isn't a joke. You could even call the park to verify since I know it sounds ridiculous. The park rangers might be able to explain a short cut if you show them the information.

From the gate house at the entrance to Wompatuck State Park, (Union Street, Hingham), travel 2 1/10 miles to the brown metal gate labeled #17 at the start of trail S 20 (on the right). Park to the side of the gate. Observe the Hunting Seasons Notice located on the large white pine tree to the left of the gate. There are words stenciled on the gate. Put the fourth letter of the fifth word in clue box # 7.

Walk along the road back towards the park entrance about 150 steps until trail S 19 enters on the left. Take this trail. Cross the footbridge. Put in clue box 1 the first letter of the material out of which this bridge is made.

From the end of the bridge walk 90 steps to a large oak tree to the right of the trail. Search the hole in its base for clue 8.

Walk slightly upland through a white pine grove until you see a chain link fence. Four large boulders border the fence. Scan the last one on the right for an orange symbol. Take the second letter of the symbol and put it in clue box # 2. If the word for the symbol still escapes you, you might discern that it actually looks like the letter needed.

Further along the trail see a large metal cube to the right of the trail. It has a hemlock sapling growing out of the dirt in the center. Put the third letter (out of four) of the metal out of which it's made in clue box 3.

Just before the dirt trail meets a tarred path, see two rocks to the right of the trail; one the split-off top of the other. They are lying next to a live beech tree & a decaying cedar stump. Examine the rocks for a letter to put in box 4.

Turn right on the tarred path to trail S 18. Where S 18 enters, turn left. Wend your way through the white pine grove and when you begin to walk down slope, a trail enters from the right. Here, see a traingular stone, as you enter the crossroads, directly in front of you. Scan it for a letter for box 5. NOTE: This is exactly where we discovered the cicada. It was burrowed in the walking path right near this "triangular stone".
Further along, a gravel trail enters from the right. You proceed straight across and continue walking on the gravel trail. The trail will descend down a long slope. When you see a metal chain link gate on your right, examine the right-most stanchion for clue 6.

Your goal is almost within reach. Cross the dirt dam and admire the lovely Holly Pond. Continue walking until you reach the brown metal gate. (This quest was terminated because of poison ivy running rampant at the quest box hiding spot so the rest of the info is not important.) Turn left on the tarred road & walk back to your car.

Estimated time from start to finish is about 90 minutes. If you stop at the visitor center you'll be able to pick up a map of the park. I'm guessing that you'd be able to find out from the rangers where the "end gate" of the quest is that would lead you in from Holly pond. Then it's just a matter of walking back to "clue 5". The clue 5 rock has 2 clue letters painted on it now as it is being used for another quest this year. Good luck. I hope you find the cicadas. Please let us know how it goes. Jeanine, Gabe 5 and Jake the discoverer of the cicada is only 3!

Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2010-12-13 | Website:

Hi Jeanine,

Thanks for the information. I will print it out and take a trip there this weekend.

In my excitement, I forgot to explain what was going on when Jake discovered this Magicicada nymph.

This particular species of Magicicada is known as Magicicada septendecim. While it is still in nymph form, it is at full development. But for some unknown reason, prior to full emergence, they build chimneys made of mud. They hold up inside the chimney for a week or so before they decide to emerge. Why they do this is still unknown but at some pre-determined time, it will leave its mud-chimney home and climb the nearest shrub and perform its final molt into an adult winged insect.

This particular specimen is from Brood XIV which is scheduled to appear in full force in May of 2008. If by chance you are in the area then, you will see these everywhere. They will average between 150,000 to 1,000,000 per acre!

I'll let you know what I find in Hingham this weekend.

Posted By: Gabriel | On: 2010-12-13 | Website:


Thanks for giving us so much information. I didn't mention, but it's the Holly Pond quest. That will help the rangers pinpoint the location for you. Now we'll be watching for them on our next quest. Jeanine & the boys

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