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June 2, 2013

Tibicen bermudiana, an extinct cicada

Filed under: Extinct,Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 7:25 am

The Tibicen bermudiana Verrill (T. bermudianus if you want the genus and species names to agree) is a cicada that was endemic to Bermuda and is now extinct. Its closest relative is the Tibicen lyricen, which is found in the United States (and not extinct).

Here is a photo of a T. bermudiana from the collection found at the Staten Island Museum:

Tibicen bermudiana of Bermuda

More photos.

From the Bermuda’s Fauna website:

Sadly, when most of the Bermuda cedar trees were killed of by a blight in the 1950s, the cicadas that made the nights so uniquely magical and romantic in sound also largely disappeared.

April 9, 2013

Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico

Download the PDF here: www.cicadamania.com/downloads/diversity-05-00166.pdf.

We are excited to announce the availability of a document by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips titled Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. This document features distribution maps for North American cicada species! This document is an excellent companion to The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (link to that book).

Abstract: We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species.
Keywords: cicada; distribution; Diceroprocta; Tibicen; Okanagana; Okanagodes; Cacama; Magicicada; Platypedia; Cicadetta

An example of a map from the document:

Example Map

January 15, 2013

Tibicen or Lyristes

Filed under: Lyristes,Tibicen — by @ 8:50 pm

A Tibicen by any other name would still sound as sweet…

I always wondered why Lyristes plebejus is also called Tibicen plebejus.

It seems that there is a dispute as to whether the genus Tibicen should actually be called Lyristes. A petition was made (back in the 1980s) to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to change Tibicen to Lyristes. I learned this from the wonderful new book, The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (order it). I checked the ICZN website, and the petition appears to fallen off their docket of open cases. I also noticed that on European and Japanese websites, they use Lyristes.

I personally hope the genus name doesn’t change for North American species — I would have to make a lot of changes on this website. Going through the name change from Tibicen chloromera to Tibicen chloromerus to Tibicen tibcen, was bad enough.

The root of the word Tibicen is flute player, and the root of the word Lyristes is lyre — both referring to musical instruments. (Frankly I think most Tibicen sound like power tools — I don’t know Latin for Black & Decker).

BTW, this is a Lyristes plebejus (from Spain):

Freshly emerged male Tibicen/Lyristes plebejus

And this is a Lyristes flammatus (from Japan):

Tibicen flammatus

And some day, this might be a Lyristes auletes (from North Carolina):

Tibicen auletes

November 12, 2012

A large smashed Tibicen auletes

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 9:57 pm

Even smashed, cicadas can be interesting. Found in Baltimore, MD.


Smashed Auletes

View the BIG version of the image to see the details.

It was a male Tibicen auletes. Thanks to Elias Bonaros for the ID.

August 13, 2012

A Tibicen tibicen (chloromera) singing

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 7:41 am

The trees near where I work are chocked full of Tibicen tibicen cicadas (formerly known as T. chloromera, also known as Swamp cicadas).

Here is a short video featuring the call of a Tibicen tibicen that I recorded this morning:

Here’s a sound file of the cicada’s song…

August 12, 2012

Tibicen canicularis – Dog Star Rising

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen — Tags: , — by @ 9:34 am

Mid-August is approaching, and the “Dog Days” of summer are almost here. Sirius (the Dog Star) and the constellation Canis Major will soon begin to appear in the early morning sky. Now is also the time that Tibicen canicularis, the Dog Day Day cicada, is also making its presence known in the U.S.A.

This is a photo of a T. canicularis (Dog Day cicada) next to a T. davisi (Southern Dog Day cicada) by by Paul Krombholz:

T. canicularis looks quite different from T. davisi

T. canicularis has a green pronotal collar, green markings on its pronotum, and at least some, if not all, orange colors on its mesonotum (where the M is on the cicada’s back). T. canicularis sounds like (to me at least) a circular saw buzzing through a plank in wood in a neighbor’s garage.

Imagine that you are a farmer waking just before dawn and seeing the first signs of Sirius, the Dog Star, and then later in the day, hearing T. canicularis singing away in the trees surrounding your fields. Those two signs are signals that summer is reaching its peak, and harvest will start soon enough.

T. canicularis can be found in the following states and provinces: AR, CT, DC, IL, IN, IA, KS, ME, MB, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NB, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, NS, OH, ON, PA, PE, QC, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WV, WI.

Here is a screen capture of the computer app Stellarium, with Canis Major and Sirius rising above the horizon before dawn.

Sirius rising

If you’re interested in stars, check out Stellarium. It is free.

Visit the Songs of Insects site for a nice photo and sound file of the Dog Day cicada. Also by their book Songs of Insects – is is inexpensive and comes with a CD.

June 10, 2012

Various cicada species emerging in the United States

Brood I Magicicada periodical cicadas continue to emerge in VA, WA and TN. Magicicada stragglers belonging to other broods, continue to emerge as well.

Neocicada hieroglyphica are around as well, particularly in Florida [link goes to image].

Neocicada hieroglyphica  adult
Example of a Neocicada hieroglyphica.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Cacama (Cactus Dodgers), including the Cacama valvata are emerging in south-western states like New Mexico and Arizona [link goes to image].

Cacama valvata (female)
Example Cacama valvata.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Tibicen are emerging in warmer areas of the United States. Joe Green found a Tibicen tibicen (possibly Tibicen tibicen australis [see Insect Singers site for song and description]) in Florida. Tibicen superbus [image] are emerging in Southern states as well.

Tibicen superbus
Example of a Tibicen superbus

Cicadas belonging to the genus Platypedia are emerging in Califorina [link goes to image]. See also Hello, my tree is clicking.

Cicadas belonging to the genus Okanagana are emerging in California [link goes to image].

September 4, 2011

Tibicen auletes from North Carolina

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 8:00 am

Here’s a Tibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by my friend Erin Dickinson. The T. auletes is also known as Northern Dusk Singing cicada. It can be found in most Southern states, IL, IN, MI, OH, MD, DE, NJ and CT.

The Tibicen auletes is the largest species of the Tibicen cicadas (largest in terms of physical size). Visit Insect Singers to hear its song.

Tibicen auletes

View both Tibicen auletes photos.

August 7, 2011

Walker’s Cicada aka Tibicen pronotalis (aka T. walkeri, T. marginalis)

Filed under: Annual,Roy Troutman,Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 7:24 pm

Roy Troutman sent us these amazing photos of a female Walker’s Cicada aka Tibicen pronotalis (aka T. walkeri, T. marginalis) taken in Batavia, Ohio. As you can guess by the various akas (also known as), the Tibicen pronotalis has been known by several species names in the past. Sometimes it takes cicada researchers a while to figure out that two different species are the same species (which is probably the case here). Tibicen pronotalis also sounds exactly like another species of Tibicen: Tibicen dealbatus. The major difference between the T. pronotalis and the T. dealbatus is the T. dealnatus has more pruinose than the T. pronotalis. Pruinose is the white, chalky substance that appears on the bodies of cicadas.

Walker’s Cicada is found in 18 mid-western and southern states. Read more about this pretty cicada on Bug Guide, and listen to its song on Insect Singers.

Tibicen pronotalis (aka T. walkeri, T. marginalis)

June 26, 2011

It’s the season for annual cicadas

Filed under: Annual,Tibicen,Video — by @ 8:48 pm

The Brood XIX (and Brood IV stragglers) are all but gone, but annual species of cicadas are emerging around the United States right now. The various annual species of cicadas differ from periodical cicadas in many ways. Annual cicadas emerge in limited numbers every year, they are not organized into broods, they tend to be timid and camouflaged to match their environment, and while their life cycles are longer than a year, they are not as long as 13 or 17 years.

The most common annual cicada east of the Rockies is probably the various species of the Tibicen genus. There are also cicadas belonging to the Diceroprocta, Neocicada, and Okanagana genera out and about now.

Use the Insect Singers website to help match the species to their song.

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