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August 6, 2018

Megatibicen resh aka the Resh Cicada

Filed under: Megatibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 6:51 am

Megatibicen resh (formerly Neotibicen resh and Tibicen resh) is commonly known as the Resh Cicada because the markings on its back resemble the Hebrew symbol Resh “ר”. The Resh Cicada has been documented to be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennesee, and Texas.

Most people will discover them by finding their exuvia (shed skins, “shells”) on trees, or by their striking calls at sunset. I first encountered this cicada in Dallas, Texas near Pioneer Plaza (cattle sculptures). First I found the exuvia on oak trees (I needed a 3′ stick added to my 8′ reach to knock them down), and then at sunset I heard their call (which I mistook for M. auletes (which is not in Texas)). Listen to their song.

It is one of the smaller Megatibicen — maybe only M. dealbatus is smaller. Compare sizes using this image by Kathy Hill. Its compound eyes are gray-beige, with a black “mask” between the eyes, and its simple eyes are pink. Its ventral side is white and caramel colored. Its dorsal side is dominated by a light green color, with black, brown and white — forming a symmetrical camouflage pattern — which helps to hide the cicada in its arboreal habitat. Recently molted, golden pruinose shimmers on its head, pronotum, mesonotum, and abdomen.

Megatibicen resh  female adult

During the molting process, up until the cicada’s body sclerotizes (hardens), the cicada’s body is leaf-green (camouflaged like a hanging leaf).

Megatibicen resh  female spreading wings 2

The exuvia of the Resh cicada is large and easy to spot, even high up in trees. Even though molted adults are closer in size to N. tibicen than M. auletes, the exuvia of M. resh is comparable to M. auletes, which is the largest cicada in North America.

Resh Auletes and Tibicen

April 29, 2018

Cicada habitat in peril in Connecticut

Filed under: Citizen Science,Megatibicen — Dan @ 7:05 am

Update: The hearing on the development of this property is May 14 at 7 p.m. but researchers can write testimony now and send it to Wallingford Planning and Zoning Commission, Wallingford Town Hall, 45 S. Main St., Wallingford, CT 06492.

Megatibicen auletes, the largest cicada in North America:
Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) aka the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada

Anytime we remove trees, we reduce cicada habitat. Remove a small forest of trees and we might destroy the habitat for an entire species. North American cicada species need trees to survive and live out their life cycles, and certain cicada species require specific types of trees and specific environmental conditions. This is the case for Megatibicen auletes, also known as the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada, which prefers oak trees growing in sandy soil.

Megatibicen auletes habitat is in peril in Wallingford, Connecticut, where a rare sandplain is about to be excavated and turned into space for a warehouse. Read this article: Environmental concerns prompt questions of state oversight in Wallingford. After reading the article, it seems like there is still a chance to reverse plans to develop this area. I hope it does not happen, for the sake of the cicadas.

Megatibicen auletes is the largest cicada in North America. You can hear its remarkable call right after sunset in late summer months. I wonder how many residents of the Wallingford area knew that the largest cicada in North America lived in their community. I wonder how many people have heard the auletes’ scream right after sunset and wondered what creature made that sound. Hopefully, people will have another chance to hear them this summer, rather than the sounds of machines grinding up a forest, or the silence of yet another warehouse parking lot.

July 5, 2017

The Dusk Singers

Filed under: Annual,Megatibicen,Neotibicen,United States — Dan @ 9:17 pm

The Dusk Singers

Dusk is the time of day between sunset and night. Many species of Megatibicen & Neotibicen (formerly Tibicen) sing at this time. I’m not sure why they sing at this time — perhaps it helps them avoid audio competition with other singing insects, or perhaps it helps them avoid predators by calling at this specific time of the day.

If you find yourself outdoors in the eastern half of the U.S. after sunset and hear a cicada call, it is likely one of the following Megatibicen or Neotibicen species:

Megatibicen

Megatibicen are LARGE and LOUD cicadas.

Megatibicen auletes aka the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. This cicada can be found in these states: AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: July to Fall.

M. auletes Call*:

Megatibicen figuratus aka the Fall Southeastern Dusk-singing Cicada. Found in: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. figuratus Call*:

Megatibicen resh aka Resh Cicada aka Western Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in: AR, KS, LA, MS, NE, OK, SC, TN, TX. Season: July to Fall.

M. resh Call*:

Megatibicen resonans aka Southern Resonant/Great Pine Barrens Cicada aka Southern Dusk Singing Cicada. Found in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA. Season: July to Fall.

M. resonans Call*:

Neotibicen

Medium-sized, green cicadas with calls that sound like the rhythmic grinding of a scissor on a sharpening wheel (not a common tool in the 21st century).

Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus aka Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI. Season: June – September. Neotibicen pruinosus fulvus aka Pale Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada. Found in: KS, OK. Season: June – September.

N. pruinosus Call*:

Neotibicen winnemanna aka Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder. Found in AL, DE, DC, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV. Season: June – Fall.

N. winnemanna Call*:

*Audio files are Copyright of InsectSingers.com. Season information gathered from BugGuide.net.

February 26, 2017

New species of Megatibicen: Megatibicen harenosus

Filed under: Jeffrey A. Cole,Megatibicen,Tibicen — Dan @ 6:32 am

A new species of Megatibicen, named Megatibicen harenosus sp. n., has been described by Jeffrey A. Cole. It lives in the Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands areas of New Mexico and Texas. It is very similar to Megatibicen (Neotibicen, Tibicen) tremulus, which itself looks a lot like dorsatus and dealbatus.

Here’s a link to the announcement of the paper. This is the abstract:

Megatibicen harenosus sp. n. is described from the Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands of New Mexico and Texas, U.S.A. The new species is diagnosed from similar species, especially M. tremulus which it resembles closely, by male genital morphology, color pattern, calling song, and ecology. Seven characters from the male calling song are described from analysis of field recordings, of which all four temporal song characters are significantly different from M. tremulus. With one of the most southwestern distribution of any Megatibicen species, M. harenosus is a new addition to the rich, endemic, and understudied Mescalero-Monahans shinnery sands biota. The possibility that M. harenosus and M. tremulus are sister species is raised. The ecological, biological, and evolutionary species concepts support species status for M. harenosus, and an hypothesis of peripatric speciation in peripheral isolation is advanced.

There is a sample of this cicada’s song on the Insect Singers website. Check it out.

December 4, 2016

Gigatibicen, Ameritibicen, Paratibicen

Filed under: Lyristes,Megatibicen,Neotibicen,Tibicen,Young June Lee — Dan @ 11:10 am

Gigatibicen
For some reason I associate “Giga” with “Gigabytes” and storage media like Flash drives, which explains this joke image.

Over the past two years there have been quite a few updates to the genera of the cicadas that were organized under the Tibicen genus earlier this decade.

The most recent paper by Young June Lee introduces the genera Gigatibicen, Ameritibicen, and Paratibicen 1. Earlier this year there was a paper by Allen Sanborn and Maxine Heath that introduced the genus Megatibicen 3, and in 2015 there was a paper by Kathy Hill and others that introduced Neotibicen and Hadoa 2.

See the end of the article for links to these papers, and related articles on CicadaMania.com.

The table below shows the names/synonyms (sub species have been removed to keep the table compact):

(Tibicen circa 2014) Hill (2015)2 Sanborn, Heath (2016)3 Lee (2016)1
Tibicen auletes Neotibicen auletes Megatibicen auletes Gigatibicen auletes
Tibicen auriferus Neotibicen auriferus no change no change
Tibicen canicularis Neotibicen canicularis no change no change
Tibicen cultriformis Neotibicen cultriformis Megatibicen cultriformis Ameritibicen cultriformis
Tibicen davisi davisi Neotibicen davisi no change no change
Tibicen dealbatus Neotibicen dealbatus Megatibicen dealbatus Ameritibicen dealbatus
Tibicen dorsatus Neotibicen dorsatus Megatibicen dorsatus Ameritibicen dorsatus
Tibicen figuratus Neotibicen figuratus Megatibicen figuratus Ameritibicen figuratus
Tibicen latifasciatus Neotibicen latifasciatus no change no change
Tibicen linnei Neotibicen linnei no change no change
Tibicen lyricen engelhardti Neotibicen lyricen no change no change
Tibicen pronotalis pronotalis Neotibicen pronotalis Megatibicen pronotalis Ameritibicen pronotalis
Tibicen pruinosus fulvus Neotibicen pruinosus no change no change
Tibicen resh Neotibicen resh Megatibicen resh Gigatibicen resh
Tibicen resonans Neotibicen resonans Megatibicen resonans Gigatibicen resonans
Tibicen robinsonianus Neotibicen robinsonianus no change no change
Tibicen similaris Neotibicen similaris no change Paratibicen similaris
Tibicen superbus Neotibicen superbus no change no change
Tibicen tibicen australis Neotibicen tibicen no change no change
Tibicen tremulus Neotibicen tremulus Megatibicen tremulus Ameritibicen tremulus
Tibicen winnemanna Neotibicen winnemanna no change no change
Tibicen bifidus Hadoa bifida no change no change
Tibicen chiricahua Hadoa chiricahua no change no change
Tibicen duryi Hadoa duryi no change no change
Tibicen inauditus Hadoa inaudita no change no change
Tibicen longioperculus Hadoa longiopercula no change no change
Tibicen neomexicensis Hadoa neomexicensis no change no change
Tibicen parallelus Hadoa parallela no change no change
Tibicen simplex Hadoa simplex no change no change
Tibicen texanus Hadoa texana no change no change
Tibicen townsendii Hadoa townsendii no change no change
  • 1 Lee, Y.J. 2016. Description of three new genera, Paratibicen, Gigatibicen, and Ameritibicen, of Cryptotympanini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) and a key to their species Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity, Volume 9, Issue 4, 1 December 2016, Pages 448–454. Link to Paper.
  • 2 Hill, et al. 2015. Molecular phylogenetics, diversification, and systematics of Tibicen Latreille 1825 and allied cicadas of the tribe Cryptotympanini, with three new genera and emphasis on species from the USA and Canada (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae), Zootaxa, Volume 3985, Issue 2, Pages 219–251. Link to Paper
  • 3 Sanborn A.F., Heath, M.S. 2016. Megatibicen n. gen., a new North American cicada genus (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Cryptotympanini), Zootaxa, Volume 4168, Issue 3. Link to Paper
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