1999 BROOD V ACCOUNT
AN ACCOUNT SUMMARY FOR MAGICICADA BROOD V FOR 1999:
LOCATION: Findley State Park, located 3 miles south of Wellington, Lorain County, Ohio.
MONDAY, MAY 17th: The first individuals are seen emerging from the ground.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19th: Light emergence observed with no song heard. M. septendecim is the only species found.
FRIDAY, MAY 21st: The emergence is growing heavier with individuals emerging as late as 0700 to 1000. Again, only septendecim is seen and some faint singing is heard. Emergence is not observed again until 1930 where the nymphs are easily spotted crawling across the ground and can be heard trampling through the leaf litter on the forest floor. By 2030, the ground appears to be alive with crawling nymphs. This emergence continues way into the night.
SUNDAY, MAY 23rd: Many more nymphs continue to emerge with a little singing heard. The first M. cassinii and M. decula have also begun to emerge and are found between Camp sites 95 through 99. The first signs of fungus infection are found in a few adults.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26th: Cold and damp day. Some song is heard with fresh adult cicadas covering both tree trunks and branches due to a heavy overnight emergence. Exuviae and emergence holes litter the ground. Exuviae also decorate the trunks of nearly every tree with some dead and dying adults found due to faulty eclosure and overcrowded conditions. Birds are also observed feeding on the live adults by flying in search of them amongst the branches and along the ground. Some cicadas free fall to the ground to avoid predation. More cassinii and decula are found near campsites 97 through 99. Emergence of all species still continue through much of the morning hours.
THURSDAY, MAY 27th: More song is heard with increased volume and increased population. More dead adults are found on the ground. More nymphs begin to emerge after 1900 in great numbers.
FRIDAY, MAY 28th: Warm day 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The singing finally becomes loud and continuous. More dead adults are found with no mating or ovipositing observed. During the hours of 1900 to 2100, large emergences of nymphs begin crawling out of the ground. They are so abundant that they are actually climbing over one another like in a race to reach the nearest support. Many actually tried climbing the legs of my tripod and one individual made it as far up my pant leg by my knee!
SATURDAY, MAY 29th: Another warm day with increased loud and continuous song. Many more emerging nymphs and freshly emerged adults are seen during the early morning hours. Honeydew occasionally falls from the trees like short periods of rain drops. The first odor of decay from dead adults is detected with the assistance of the baking sun. Still no mating or ovipositing is observed. The number of living adults is incredible.
TUESDAY, JUNE 1st: Light overnight emergence. Singing is loud and continuous. A few adults are found dead from drowning due to rain from the previous day. Fungus infection is noticeably beginning to spread. Still no mating or ovipositing observed.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2nd: Rain sweeps across much of Northern Ohio.
FRIDAY, JUNE 4th: Warm day with pleasant weather. Nymphs are still found emerging but in much decreased numbers. The fungal infection is very apparent and spreading through the population. More dead adults litter the ground and produce a slight odor of decay. Adults are seen on just about everything and are very active flyers. Approximately a dozen mating pairs of adults are found sitting on/or close to the ground. Four females are also found ovipositing in some low hanging branches. Singing has become extremely loud and deafening at the peak of the day due to millions of males forming chorusing centers in the surrounding trees.
SUNDAY, JUNE 6th: Hot, 90 degree day. The singing is again extremely loud while mating and ovipositing have become a widespread frenzy amongst the population. Females are observed ovipositing in oak and maple trees. The mating urge has become so powerful that one male was seen trying to mount a dead female whose corpse was still hanging on the side of a tree.
TUESDAY, JUNE 8th: Another hot, 90 degree day. The singing continues to be very loud and nonstop. No ovipositing is observed during the morning hours and appears to resume later in the afternoon. The fungal infection continues to spread and there is an increase in the number of dead and dying. The odor of death is becoming more apparent due to the summer heat. The emergence appears to have ceased altogether.
FRIDAY, JUNE 11th: The chorus is continued very loud and nonstop. Honeydew drops like rain in some areas during the peak of another hot day. The odor of decay is repugnant at the base of several large trees. Mating and ovipositing is widespread and constant. More dead and dying adults are found dropping from the trees.
MONDAY, JUNE 21st: Warm, 80 degree day. The choruses of all three species are heard. The sound is strong but slightly decreased. The fungus infection continues to spread while mating and ovipositing has become the driving force of their existence. The first and only cross breeding pair is observed between a male cassinii and a female septendecim. More piles of dead and dying adults are found at the bases of many trees. Flagging damage is now apparent on numerous trees. Their leaves are found withered and their branches are easily broken if bumped. The damage is even more noticeable on the younger trees. Some branches bleed sap from the wounds sustained by ovipositing. Egg damage is also found on small thorn bushes next to a young tree canopy.
MONDAY, JUNE 28th: The chorus has greatly diminished as is the number of live adults. Females are still ovipositing and younger trees show much signs of flagging damage. Fungal infected adults are clustered on lower limbs and grasses. One male cassinii is observed trying to mount a female septendecim that had no abdomen which was lost due to the fungal infection. Many adults are found fallen from the trees with the dying appearing to be more female than male. Piles of dead bodies give off more foul odors beneath the trees. Many of the corpses are being consumed by both ants and fly maggots. The remaining corpses simply bake in the hot sun. More dead and dying adults are found lying on the paved roadways throughout the park. The first Neotibicen songs are heard between 3 to 4 males. A half dozen Neotibicen exuviae are also found clinging to some small trees.
TUESDAY, JUNE 29th: A cool, damp 60 degree morning due to rain the night before. Many more dead adults have fallen from the trees, apparently more female than male. Dead branches from excessive flagging are found broken off and scattered under trees. Very few living active adults are seen with many of those infected by fungus. A much decreased chorus is heard. More new Neotibicen exuviae are found.
THURSDAY, JULY 8th: Very few living adults are found, majority being females. Faint choruses of cassinii are heard with solitary decula and septendecim singing briefly. Piles of dead adults lay beneath the trees with the odor of decay being very powerful. Many of the living adults appear too tired to avoid both detection and/or predation. One female is observed trying to lay eggs but is too weak to insert her ovipositor into the bark. Another female is found freshly deceased with her ovipositor still inserted in a branch. Many young trees have severe flagging damage and branches are easily broken off. Heavily scarred branches lay broken on the ground. More Neotibicens are heard singing periodically.
FRIDAY, JULY 9th: Severe thunderstorms with heavy rains and high winds hit much of Northern Ohio.
SUNDAY, JULY 11th: Cool day. No living adults are heard or seen. Many decaying bodies lay in piles under trees and under branches. More damaged branches are also found and the flagging damage on most trees is very evident. Neotibicens are the only cicadas left singing. The Brood V saga has ended for Findley State Park.