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Cicada Hunt!

Try to Solve This Mystery:

What species of cicadas did we find?

Last summer we tried to identify our cicadas
by looking at photos on websites, like the
Cicadas of Michigan and Great Plains Nature
Center's Dog Day Cicada sites.  We confirmed
that we were finding annual or "dog-day" cicadas
(genus Tibicen), but we couldn't tell for sure
which species, because they all looked so much
alike.  

Our best guess was that they were either
Tibicen canicularis or Tibicen pruinosa.  (Sorry,
the individual species don't have common names.)

This summer, in late August, we went back to the 
Cicadas of Michigan
website and downloaded 
the songs of all six species of genus Tibicen.  
Then we played each song over and over again,
and tried to decide if we had heard it before.

Mystery solved!  We had three species of cicadas 
singing in our trees in late August, and we were 
pretty sure of their names!

But, here are some new mysteries:
Why do we have so many species
of cicadas singing at the same time --
and why do they look so much alike?


What do you think? 
E-mail us at Cicadas@SaltTheSandbox.org 

  

Here are some Websites that we used to research this question:

    Cicadas of Michigan Website: 
    < http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/michigan_cicadas/Michigan/Index.html
>

   Great Plains Nature Center's Dog Day Cicada
    Website (they're located in Wichita, Kansas):
   < http://www.gpnc.org/dogday.htm >

 

Go back to the main Cicada Mysteries page


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This page was created on September 4, 2000, and it was last updated on July 27, 2002.