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Fall Fund Drive

Periodical Cicada - Magicicada

Periodical Cicada - Magicicada
Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
Size: 2 1/2 inch Wingspread
I found some of these cicadas last year very late in their season. I collected a few on the ground as they were dying. It seemed to me, as they were dying the tips of their abdomens fell off, as you can see in this photograph. I couldn't find any with the full abdomen.

Cicada victim of fungal infection.
Periodical cicadas often get infected with a fungus that causes the tip of the abdomen to fall off, and allow the spores to be released. Very observant of you. Thanks for sharing!

Infection name is Massospora Cicadina
It's a fungal infection that becomes active once the Cicada emerges from the ground and eventually causes their abdomens to pop exposing a white chalky substance within and leaving the Magicicada sterile. At this point if a male Magicicada is infected with this fungal parasite, it can no longer mate and depending upon the extent of the damage, no longer call for a female. This condition affects both males and females.

If the male Periodical Cicada mates prior to the infection taking hold, that is early after the molt process, the infection is transmitted through sexual contact. The newly hatched First Instar Nymphs then complete their underground development while the infestation lies dormant.

Thanks to both of you for the info!

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