So we set off for Slovenia for the second time, armed with the same devices we had last time, plus a few news ones. Professional field recorder with parabolic microphone, bat detector, iPhone 3, 4, 4S, 5, Samsung Galaxy tablet, Galaxy Mini (cheapest Android on the market), lots of Nexus 4's and an HTC One X. The difference being that this time we had our own Cicada Hunt app to use, and intended to find ways to break it.
Result? Two minutes after we got off the car, we found a Cicadetta montana (i.e. the New Forest cicada) and, somewhat to our surprise, the detection was perfect from the iPhone 5, our most sensitive device, all the way down to the Galaxy Mini, our cheapest device. Yes ok, the iPhone 5 could pick up cicadas from far away, the Galaxy Mini had to be a bit closer, but the sensitivity of the microphone is beyond our control. We should also mention that we knew where to go to find cicadas, while in the New Forest the task is a bit more challenging -- cover the entire 600 square kilometres area to find them. Challenging, but certainly possible.
One more thing I wanted to share with you is what we learnt from this experience. Here are a few things:
In the end with recorded over one hundred different calls. The app sometimes also picks up Cicadetta brevipennis and Cicadetta cantilatrix, because they sound like the montana and the dark bush cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera, respectively. This is ok, since no such species is present in the UK, but eventually we might want to classify them all as separate species.
In conclusion it was a great experience, we extensively tested the app and very rarely got a wrong result, found loads of cicadas and even saw one (the one in the picture here). It's a rather old female -- she's been adult for some three weeks -- and was photographed by Tomi Trilar, one of the amazing entomologists who took us around the sites. Many thanks to him and Prof Matija Gogala for their continued guidance and teachings. What a great result after one year of hard work!