by Carl Strang
It has been 30 years since I last published a scientific paper. My early papers were on birds and turtles, as my formal training focused on vertebrate ecology. As is clear in this blog, I have again become interested in scientific research, but now the focus is on invertebrates, specifically singing insects. The first scientific paper to result from this work just came out in The Great Lakes Entomologist. Here is the abstract:
2013 THE GREAT LAKES ENTOMOLOGIST 193
Geography and History of Periodical Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) in DuPage County, Illinois
Carl A. Strang1
The spatial distribution of periodical cicada (Magicicada septendecim L. and M. cassini Fisher) emergence in 2007 did not match either historical locations of woodlands or the cicadas’ own geography in the 19th and early 20th centuries in DuPage County, Illinois. Cicadas were present in forest areas that had remained above 61 ha throughout historic times, and they were absent from areas which at some point had been reduced below 52 ha by tree removal, mainly for agriculture. Isolation of forest areas also may have contributed to local extinctions. The insects have spread into new, urban woodlands created by residential plantings. Their distribution is associated with the early growth of towns along commuter railways in the eastern part of the county (toward Chicago). A peculiar gap in the main emergence area (encompassing two adjacent cities) may be the result of the cicadas shifting their emergence four years early. An active dispersal on 9–11 June, coinciding with the peak in cicada singing in forested areas, apparently placed scattered small groups of cicadas outside the main emergence area.
1Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, P.O. Box 5000, Wheaton, IL 60189-5000.
Most of the content of the paper I have posted in this blog in less formal terms, for instance: https://natureinquiries.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/where-the-periodical-cicadas-were/
The study isn’t done, but a few years need to pass before I can seek more information to add to the story.