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August 24, 2014

It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted

Paul Krombholz has come through with an awesome guide to identifying Tibicens just after they have molted. Click the image below for an even larger version.

It is possible to identify Tibicen species just after they have molted

Notes on the species from Paul:

T. pruinosus [formerly T. pruinosa]—Newly molted adult has darker mesonotum (top of mesothorax) than the very common T. chloromera. Abdomen is a golden orange color. Older adult has dark olive on lateral sides of mesonotum, lighter green below the “arches”.

T. pronotalis (formerly walkeri, marginalis)—Quite large. The reddish brown color can be seen on the mesonotum of newly molted adult. Older adult has solid green pronotum (top of prothorax) and red-brown markings on sides of mesonotum. Below the “arches” the mesonotum color can range from carmel to green. Head is black between the eyes.

T. tibicen [T. chloromerus, T. chloromera]—has large, swollen mesonotum, quite pale in a newly molted adult and almost entirely black in an older adult. Individuals from east coast can have large russet patches on sides of mesonotum. The white, lateral :”hip patches” on the anteriormost abdominal segment are always present, but the midline white area seen in my picture is sometimes absent.

T. davisi—Small. This is a variable species, but all have an oversized head which is strongly curved, giving it a ‘hammerhead’ appearance. Newly molted individuals are usually brown with blueish wing veins that will become brown, but some have more green in wing veins. Some may have pale mesonotums that will become mostly black. Older adults vary from brownish to olive to green markings on pronotum and mesonotum.

T. figuratus [formerly T. figurata]—a largish entirely brown cicada. Newly molted adult has a pink-brown coloration with some blueish hints. Older adult has chestnut-brown markings and no green anywhere. Head is not very wide in relation to the rest of the body. The small cell at the base of the forewing is black.

T. auletes—a large, wide-bodied cicada. Newly molted adult is very green, but the older adult loses most of the green, usually retaining an olive posterior flange of the pronotum. The dorsal abdomen of the adult has a lot of powdery white on the anterior and posterior segments with a darker band inbetween.

Here’s an update for this article (8 years later).

This is a series of photos of a T. tibicen tibicen as it gets darker in color (photo by Cicada Mania). This cicada will retain the green color in its eyes and pronotum, but its back will turn almost entirely black.

Teneral transition of a Tibicen tibicen tibicen cicada

8 Comments

  1. Awesome stuff Paul- keep up the excellent sleuthing and great photo posts. It would appear that the microscopic taxonomists will have to assist you with classification, since straight morphotaxonomy doesn’t give you a quick “rule of thumb” for an eyeball differentiation for your T.davisi and T.canicularis. Good luck.

    Comment by David E — September 6, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

  2. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania » Enter the Tibicen: Summer is Here — July 6, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  3. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania » Time for the yearly Tibicen post — July 6, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

  4. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania » Introducing: the Tibicen — October 21, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

  5. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania: Enter the Tibicen: Summer is Here — November 12, 2012 @ 7:41 am

  6. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania: Time for the yearly Tibicen post — November 13, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

  7. […] It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted: a visual tool to identify freshly molted Tibicens by Paul Krombholz […]

    Pingback by Cicada Mania: Introducing: the Tibicen — November 13, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  8. About a week ago cicadas in our yard started making noise similar to ruuber bands tightening and releasing. Scchhhhh-boing-schhhhhh-boing! Is this a different species than we heard previously this summer? Or a different mating call? We’ve got it on video if you want to hear. We live in Austin, TX.

    Comment by Mrs Texas — September 10, 2014 @ 9:00 am

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