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Magicicada neotredecim is the most recently discovered species of periodical cicada. Like the other six Magicicada species, M. neotredicim has reddish eyes and wing veins and a black dorsal thorax. It has a 13-year life cycle but seems to be most closely related to the 17-year species M. septendecim. Both species are distinguished by broad orange stripes on the abdomen and a unique high-pitched song said to resemble someone calling "weeeee-whoa" or "Pharaoh".

Periodical cicadas are assigned to broods based on their year of emergence and life-cycle length. The other three 13-year species (M. tredecim, M. tredecassini, and M. tredecula) are represented in all three of the extant 13-year broods: Brood XIX (emerging in 2011), Brood XXII (emerging in 2014), and Brood XXIII (emerging in 2015). M. neotredecim was first discovered in 1998 in Brood XIX when scientists studying the calls in Brood XIX distinguished two different peak frequencies. This lead to further study, and determination that M. tredicum was actually two species, with different mitochondrial DNA forms matching to different call frequencies. Together, the three species M. neotredicim, M. tredecim, and M. septendecim are often described as the “decim periodical cicada group”. When M. tredecim and M. neotredecim inhabit an overlapping range, M. neotredecim produces a higher-pitched call to become more distinct, a possible example of character displacement in the evolution of new species in this group.

M. neotredicim occurs toward the northern part of the Brood XIX range, and has also been observed in Brood XXIII but not in Brood XXII.

(Simon 2011; Hill and Marshall, 2011; Cooley 2011; Cooley and Marshall 2011; Marshall and Cooley 2000; Wikipedia 2011)


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