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Why Don’t These Cicadas Have Butts?

The fungus Massospora cicadina infects periodical cicadas when they emerge every 13 or 17 years.
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Angie Macias’s “Flying Salt Shakers of Death” article, from the Cornell Mushroom Blog: https://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/2013/02/19/flying-salt-shakers-of-death/

Massosspora cicadina as a cicaca STD, from University of Maryland College Park Professor Michael Raupp: http://bugoftheweek.com/blog/2013/6/17/std-in-cicada-land-imagicicadai-and-imassospora-cicadinai

An excellent review of all thing periodical cicada, fungal details on page 279: http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/projects/cicada/resources/reprints/Williams%26Simon_1995.pdf

For more on the fungus and its spores, see this study from Dr. Kimberly Smith’s lab (sorry, it’s behind a paywall) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002220110200040X, and this one (also behind a paywall) by JoAnn White and Monte Lloyd: http://ee.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/4/1245

And here are some details about how these insects die: http://cavern.uark.edu/~fstephen/new/Publications/articles/1993Williams.pdf

Host, Animator, Editor
Anna Rothschild

Writer, DP, Sound
Rachel Becker

Many thanks to:

Dr. Chris Simon (http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/projects/cicada/simon_lab/simonlab.php )
Dr. Michael J. Raupp (http://bugoftheweek.com/thebugguy/)
Dr. Kimberly G. Smith (http://biology.uark.edu/1403.php)

Rag Tag Rag
Music Provided by APM

Images and Video

Cicada photographs and footage
Michael J. Raupp, Professor at University of Maryland College Park
via bugoftheweek.com/

Magicicada young
Wikimedia Commons/Arthur D. Guilani

SFX

Cockroaches
Freesound/StateAardvark
(used with permission from author)

Squeak Pack/squeak_10
Freesound/Corsica_S

A Magicicada chorus containing M. septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula.
Wikimedia Commons/Audio S4 from Fontaine K, Cooley J, Simon C (2007). “Evidence for Paternal Leakage in Hybrid Periodical Cicadas (Hemiptera: Magicicada spp.)” PLoS ONE.

Produced by WGBH for PBS Digital Studios

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