Cicadas Choice (Cicada Series Book 1)

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Intrigued, he and his colleagues used microcomputed tomography —a kind of CT scan that picks up details as small as a micron in size—to image a cicada's tymbal, which helps the insect make its deafening chirp. Each cicada has two tymbals, one located on each side of its abdomen. The tymbal is made of a thin membrane connecting thicker sections known as ribs, each of which is thinner than a human hair.

Hughes's team scanned the intact tymbal as if it were in a series of cross-sections just a few microns thick and then assembled those cross-sections via a computer to give an extremely detailed picture of the tymbal. A computer model developed from the image shows that a cicada makes noise by buckling the tymbal. A muscle pulls all the tymbal ribs inward and together. The ribs make a short, sharp noise when they draw together and again when they snap apart. The cicada repeats the action to times per second, creating the characteristic crescendoing drone.

Producing noise by buckling is unusual in the insect world, Hughes says. Crickets and katydids, for example, rub their legs to create their characteristic chirps.

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But the researchers discovered that buckling isn't the whole story when they mapped each cross-section of the tymbal with a grid and carefully tracked each square on the grid as their model tymbal ribs pulled together and snapped apart. Instead of acting like a single speaker, the cicada's left and right tymbals may act like two speakers that produce sound waves that constructively combine.


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To see how that happens, imagine two waves traveling on the same string. Where the peaks of the two waves perfectly overlap, they add together and spike much higher than the peak of either wave alone. If the waves are sound waves traveling through the air, the peaks would be spots where the volume is very high. Dundubiini A Part of Cicadina with two new species. Dundubiini Two other genera of Cicadina , Moganiini, and Huechysini with a new genus and two new species. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology , 7, 45— Lin, N. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science , , 55— Logan, D. New Zealand Plant Protection , 60, — Maddison, W.

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Cicadas were collected in the morning, placed in mesh bags that were refrigerated, and weighed individually later that afternoon or evening portable advanced electronic balance, CT series; Ohaus, Florham Park, New Jersey, USA. I compared the masses of newly eclosed female cicadas that had spent their nymphal development on roots along a forest edge with those from roots from the forest interior using a least squares model in JMP 10 SAS Institute I used the number of adult cicadas that emerged at each site as an approximate indicator of habitat quality for nymphs.

All sites were located along sunlit forest edges, habitat known to be favorable for periodical cicadas. Habitat quality was not measured independently of cicada numbers because the specific characteristics that influence habitat quality for cicadas are poorly understood. I estimated the density of adult cicadas at eight sites during emergences of brood II in , , and Because distributions of cicadas are extremely patchy both within the canopy of individual trees and across the landscape Dybas and Davis , Simon et al.

I estimated the density of emerging adults at each site by counting the total number of cast nymphal skins and dividing by the total area of each site that was directly covered by canopy vegetation. This method is more feasible than counting emergence holes in habitat with grass or other dense cover and provides an accurate measure of density Dybas and Davis It was not possible to identify the cicada species from cast nymphal skins or emergence holes.

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The small size of these sites reduced patchiness, and allowed me to collect all cicadas emerging at a site rather than estimating their mean density and variance see Lloyd Density estimates are based on absolute censuses of all skins without sample variances. A description of the collection sites is provided in the Appendix. At one of the sites, Blithewoods, I also estimated emergence density by counting emergence holes in order to compare my estimates from this study based on cast nymphal skins with some in the literature that were based on emergence holes.

However, there were only 6 m 2 that were sufficiently clear of grass to enable a reliable count of emergence holes.

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At this site, I also separated eight subsamples the area beneath half the canopies of four different trees of the cast skins that I counted, providing an estimate of the mean and standard error. Newly eclosed M.

The Secret of the Cicada's Chirp

Females of M. Densities of emerging adult cicadas were highly variable both over space and over time Fig. The sites were initially selected in to span the range of naturally occurring densities so this spatial variation was expected. However, the density of cicadas at any site was highly variable over time. Two sites Glory Hill tree 2 and tree 3 varied by only twofold across the three samples.

One Glory Hill site uphill 2 varied by an order of magnitude. The direction of change was also variable, as four of the five Glory Hill sites increased between and and decreased between and One site decreased between and , and one site increased between and The Dug Road site increased by an order of magnitude and then decreased by two orders of magnitude, and cicadas were almost gone from this site in Cicadas were common north of the gym on the Bard campus in , emerging from beneath American elm trees Ulmus americana.

These trees were victims of Dutch elm disease after , and neither cast skins nor mature trees were present at this site in However, six small basswood trees Tilia americana , an oak Quercus velutina , and a dogwood Cornus florida were planted prior to and were recolonized by adult cicadas and supported nymphs between and The trees at the study site at Blithewoods on the Bard College campus were surrounded by mowed lawn and heavily managed. They supported relatively high densities of cicada nymphs during all three emergences although densities of cast skins at this site in were an order of magnitude higher than previous emergences.

Cicada Magicicada spp.

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Densities were estimated by counting all cast skins at each site and are based on absolute censuses without variance estimates. Several nonexclusive hypotheses have been presented to explain the evolution of prolonged development in periodical cicadas. Populations that emerged only once every 17 years faced fewer bouts of unfavorable conditions and declined less rapidly than those with shorter generation times.

Some nymphs grow rapidly so that they could emerge years before they actually do; instead, they wait for others in their brood to catch up White and Lloyd , Martin and Simon Individuals that took 17 years to develop were more fecund than those taking only 13 years before metamorphosing Karban Advantages of prolonged development along with low risk of mortality for later instar nymphs Karban beg the question: Why don't cicadas take even longer to develop?

I hypothesized that changing habitat quality may be a source of selection that balances the advantages of prolonged development. Cicada nymphs are completely unable to track changes in habitat quality over time. Once females place their eggs in twigs, they are sealing the fates of their offspring over the forthcoming 17 years.