Coming soon - A Cicada near you

As you might know, this is the year of the Cicada. “A what” you say?
A Cicada

The 17 year cycle is upon us and they will spring forth from the earth at a rate of up to 1,200,000 per acre, all flying through the air at the same time.

Has anybody had any experience with these critters?
Does the FAA have a designator for these flying tasty tidbits, like, “smoke, fog, mist, cicada’s”?
How will they be reported in a TAF or METAR. like "Exp -Ci, sm, etc?
Does BAM work on cidada’s?
If a cicada breaks through my windshield and kills me, should my wife pull the parachute, or will she be devoured too?
How do they taste on the barbeque?
Has Mike R allready taken a picture of one coming through his air intake?
Will they fit through an air intake?
How high do they fly?
Do they increase ground effect?
Are there any good limerics written about cicada’s, cause there are lots of possibilities?
LIKE
I once knew a little cicada
who found a boy cicada who made her
she then learned to fly
she came toward my eye
so I opened my mouth and ate her.
etc., etc. or you do better.

In reply to:


As you might know, this is the year of the Cicada. “A what” you say?
A Cicada
The 17 year cycle is upon us and they will spring forth from the earth at a rate of up to 1,200,000 per acre, all flying through the air at the same time.
Has anybody had any experience with these critters?
Does the FAA have a designator for these flying tasty tidbits, like, “smoke, fog, mist, cicada’s”?
How will they be reported in a TAF or METAR. like "Exp -Ci, sm, etc?
Does BAM work on cidada’s?
If a cicada breaks through my windshield and kills me, should my wife pull the parachute, or will she be devoured too?
How do they taste on the barbeque?
Has Mike R allready taken a picture of one coming through his air intake?
Will they fit through an air intake?
How high do they fly?
Do they increase ground effect?
Are there any good limerics written about cicada’s, cause there are lots of possibilities?
LIKE
I once knew a little cicada
who found a boy cicada who made her
she then learned to fly
she came toward my eye
so I opened my mouth and ate her.
etc., etc. or you do better.


Cicadas don’t fly very high–10 or 20 feet-- and they don’t fly much. They spend almost all their time sitting in trees, where your not supposed to be flying anyhow. They only live for about two weeks, and die very soon after mating, which is the only reason they come to the surface. They make a hellofa racket singing to attract a mate, then they lay their eggs, which in the spring hatch into larvae which we call “grubs” and they burrow around under ground and eat the roots of your grass. The grubs ar quite tasty and very nutricious ( as per the survival course I had), but the adultsare a little crunchy.

We had our cicada brood emerge here in NM two years ago, even here in the near-desert. They sure are loud…

I hadn’t thought about it before, but the 17 (and 13) year cycles, being prime numbers, reduce the probability of synchronizing with another species, and thus improve the food situation. Nature’s own math, quite a thing…

In reply to:


I hadn’t thought about it before, but the 17 (and 13) year cycles, being prime numbers, reduce the probability of synchronizing with another species, and thus improve the food situation. Nature’s own math, quite a thing…


Dave,

That IS an interesting observation!

Are there species that ‘use’ other prime numbers that way? - 3, 5, 7, 11, 19, etc…?

Just give this SOME relevance to Cirrus flying - I actually set reminders on my Garmins to prime number intervals – e.g. I have a reminder to scan for traffic every 5 minutes (really!), one to check my Boost Pump position (easy to bump without noticing) every 11 minutes, and one to check my fuel every 29 minutes. In my SR20, there was a check every 13 minutes for the landing light, but that just stays on in my '22. The point of all this is that the sequence of reminders never becomes a natural pattern - always seems “alive”, which was my aim.

  • Mike.

In reply to:


Are there species that ‘use’ other prime numbers that way? - 3, 5, 7, 11, 19, etc…?


I did a Google search and found this:http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2647052The short version is that the prime number approach also helps them from becoming food; they avoid resonance with their predators. It also says that one cicada predator, a fungus, developed a matching 17 year cycle, so the brood apparently switched to 13 years instead. How cool is that?

In reply to:


I did a Google search and found this:http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2647052The short version is that the prime number approach also helps them from becoming food; they avoid resonance with their predators. It also says that one cicada predator, a fungus, developed a matching 17 year cycle, so the brood apparently switched to 13 years instead. How cool is that?


H-I-J-A-C-K-E-D
Now, is that a prime number
E Tu Presidente

In reply to:


It also says that one cicada predator, a fungus, developed a matching 17 year cycle, so the brood apparently switched to 13 years instead. How cool is that?


David,

Amazing - mind blowing. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the predatory fungus figures it out…

  • Mike.

I found another article that discussed another mechanism by which the life cycle converged on “large” (by reproduction standards) prime numbers. Apparently, cicadas can only reproduce if the temperature is above 68F, and in the ice ages there were cold summers. Models demonstrate that, with one out of every fifty summers being cold, the survival rate of longer-cycle broods is much higher than those with shorter cycles. This lengthens the life cycle.

Cicadas use “predator satiation” as a survival strategy, since they are clumsy, slow moving, and tasty–they emerge simultaneously in such large numbers (up to a million per acre) that there are simply too many to eat, and thus survive. This drives simultaneity.

Finally, it was observed that if cicadas with differing cycles mate, the offspring tends to have yet another cycle, and there tends to be less on the new cycle, so they all get eaten and don’t reproduce. Prime number cycles reduce the probability that another brood (of different cycle length) emerges at the same time, so they’re unlikely to interbreed. With 13 and 17 year cycles, they overlap only once every 221 years.

So…long cycles survive the weather, and primes reduce cicada miscegenation, which reinforces the mass emergence, which improves the survival odds by making the predators sick of eating cicadas.

Cooler and cooler…

(This is marginally on topic, as they do have wings after all…)

"(This is marginally on topic, as they do have wings after all…) "

Moreover, all Cirrus drivers have to “prime” on the first start of the day.