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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.

(more…)

August 1, 2010

What’s in a name?

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 5:57 pm

We’ve discussed, in previous posts, issues with the naming of Tibicen cicadas; first there were gender agreement issues and then the naming of Tibicen tibicen cicadas (which most people still refer to as Tibicen chloromera).

The gender issue deals with agreement of the Genus and species name. Tibicen superba, for instance, should be called Tibicen superbus since the “en” in Tibicen is male, and the ending of suberbus needs to match that with “us”.

Quoting from Bug Guide1:

“All the –a endings in the species of Tibicen need to be –us, e.g. bifida should be bifidus”, per Allen Sanborn (Barry University, Florida), pers. comm., 2008. (Note, many taxonomists working on larger groups, e.g. leps, have abandoned gender agreement, but apparently this isn’t the case with Cicadas. MQ)

The story for Tibicen chloromera is a bit different. First, chloromera needed to be changed to chloromerus because of the gender agreement issue. Then that had to be changed to Tibicen tibicen because historically this particular cicada was referred to as Tibicen tibicen before Tibicen chloromera. This could be changed, if someone found a precedent of the insect being called a Tibicen chloromera, but then still we’d have to call it a Tibicen chloromerus because of the gender agreement issue.

Quoting from Bug Guide again2:

The long-standing name for this common species, Tibicen chlormera, has apparently been changed to Tibicen tibicen based on priority. See Synonyms and references. –Cotinis 17 October 2008.

That being said, most folks on the web call the Tibicen tibicen “Tibicen chloromera” to this day. Whether this is an act of rebellion, force of habit, loyalty to other researchers who don’t agree with the name change, I’m not sure.

Taxonomic name changes discussed, lets move to common Tibicen names.

Our last post featured Elias Bonaros photo of a Tibicen auletes, which I labeled a Scissor-grinder, a common name for the insect — or so I thought. Elias was quick to point out that other resources call another cicada, the Tibicen pruinosus, a Scissor-grinder. Elias is no slouch when it comes to cicada information, and he has correctly corrected me in the past in mistakes I’ve made, but I needed to figure out where i got my possibly erroneous information from.

Bug Guide calles the T. auletes a Scissor-grinder3 as well as Northern Dusk-singing cicada, as does another IOWA State website4.

University of Florida scientists/researchers, on the other hand, call the Tibicen pruinosus5 a Scissor-grinder as does the Song of Insects6 website. The University of Florida document doesn’t provide a common name for T. auletes, but the Song of Insects site refers to them as Northern Dusk-singing Cicadas.

So… any tie breakers out there? It could be that in the South the T. pruinosus is the Scissor-grinder and in the Mid-west it’s the T. auletes.

Here’s my list of references:

  1. Genus Tibicen http://bugguide.net/node/view/5949
  2. Species Tibicen tibicen http://bugguide.net/node/view/6966
  3. Species Tibicen auletes – Scissor-grinder http://bugguide.net/node/view/6968
  4. What is a Locust http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/node/1936
  5. Cicadas (of Florida), Neocicada hieroglyphica (Say), Tibicen, Diceroprocta and Melampsalta spp. (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadidae) http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in602
  6. Song of Insects http://www.musicofnature.com/songsofinsects/iframes/specieslist.html

July 28, 2010

Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada

Filed under: Elias Bonaros,Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 9:01 pm

New Tibicen auletes photos from Elias Bonaros.

The Tibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-singing Cicada is the largest of the Tibicen cicadas in the U.S.A.

Tibicen auletes

July 8, 2010

Hot weather means cicadas emerge sooner? Most likely.

Filed under: Neocicada,Tibicen — by @ 7:56 am

Temperature is a factor in when cicadas will emerge from the earth and enter the adult phase of their lives. Cicadas like warm weather (as do most insects) and so once the soil & air reaches a temperature that pleases the cicadas, they will likely emerge. There are other factors of course, but hotter weather usually means cicadas will emerge sooner than later.

The spring and summer of 2010 has been HOTTER than usual in the mid-Atlantic area of the United States, and so species of cicadas are emerging earlier than expected. Since June first, I’ve witnessed, 32 days above 80F(27C), and 11 days above 90F(32C), in New Jersey, which is warmer than usual.

Annual cicada species like the Tibicen species and Neocicada hieroglyphica have been emerging sooner than expected. Cicadas.info has reports of Neocicada hieroglyphica, Tibicen lyricen and T. tibicen (T. chloromera) emerging sooner than expected. I’ve been hearing T. linnei in New Jersey since June.


Massachusetts Cicadas
is reporting a slow start for Tibicen. Massachusetts is a New England state, and is typically cooler than Mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, but that might not be the only factor at work here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

What else…

Temperature will also effect when a cicada will sing: if it’s too cold cicadas won’t sing, and if it’s too hot the poor over-heated cicadas won’t sing. This is why you won’t hear some annual cicadas singing on a cool day, or when it’s near 100F(38C). This depends on the species too; some species like it HOT, and some like it cool.

I’ve also heard that temperature can effect the frequency of a cicada’s song, however there is not a formula that allows to you determine the temperature based on the pauses in a cicada’s call like there is for crickets.

March 7, 2010

10 new Tibicen photos from Elias Bonaros

Don’t try this:

T. tibicen and Cicada Killer Wasp

Elias was kind enough to send us 10 Tibicen photos he took in 2009. Photos include Tibicen tibicen (chloromera), Tibicen lyricen, Tibicen tibicen & Cicada Killer Wasp on Elias’ fingers, Tibicen canicularis and Tibicen linnei.

You can view the gallery page for all, or visit the individual photos:

Female Tibicen tibicen eclosing.

Female Tibicen tibicen eclosing.

T. lyricen male in the teneral phase.

Tibicen tibicen female with emerald green eyes.

Cicada Killer Wasp and Tibicen tibicen on Elias’ finger.

Cicada Killer Wasp and Tibicen tibicen on Elias’ fingers.

Tibicen canicularis eclosing.

Tibicen canicularis eclosing.

T. canicualris eclosing in Lakewood NJ.

T. linnei teneral and its exuvia.

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