Cicada Mania

Dedicated to cicadas, the most amazing insects in the world.

Genera of cicadas.

March 2, 2017

Quesada gigas out in Texas

Filed under: Mike Quinn | Quesada — Dan @ 8:05 pm

Update: Mike’s website Giant Cicada / Chicharra Grande has records of the early calling. 3 to 4 months early!

Mike Quinn, @EntoMike on Twitter, reported on February 22nd that Quesada gigas have been singing in Texas.

Listen to their song:


Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: Q. gigas

Quesada gigas from Brazil, Photo by Leonardo Milhomem
Photo credit: Photo by Leonardo Milhomem.

More information about Quesada gigas.

February 26, 2017

Quick guide to recent cicada name changes

Filed under: Genera — Dan @ 8:31 am

The names of cicadas change a lot. I don’t question the name changes, but it does take a fair amount of time to update 100s-1000s of pages on this site whenever a genus or species name changes, or when a species is split into multiple species or a genus is split into multiple genera. There are likely places on this site where the names are a generation or two behind.

Here’s a guide to changes from the past two decades. It is far from complete, but it represents the more well-known cicadas.

Genus changes

Auritibicen spawned from Tibicen/Lyristes. These cicadas include:

Twelve Auritibicen bihamatus subspecies, five Auritibicen flammatus subspecies, Auritibicen intermedius Mori, 1931, ten Auritibicen japonicus subspecies, Auritibicen kyushyuensis (Kato, 1926), Auritibicen pekinensis (Haupt, 1924), and Auritibicen slocumi Chen, 1943.

Read Young June Lee. 2015. Description of a new genus, Auritibicen gen. nov., of Cryptotympanini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) with redescriptions of Auritibicen pekinensis (Haupt, 1924) comb. nov. and Auritibicen slocumi (Chen, 1943) comb. nov. from China and a key to the species of Auritibicen. Zootaxa 3980 (2): 241—254.

Callogaena spawned from Gaeana Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843. Although Gaeana might still be preferred. Here is a Callogaeana festiva.

Distantalna Boulard, 2009 spawned from Tosena Amyot & Audinet-Serville, 1843. Here is a Distantalna splendida. This cicada is very common on eBay and found in a lot of arts and crafts, and is still mostly called Tosena splendida in those places.

See the image below: Distantalna clearly lacks the angular forewing stripes of Tosena. The orientation of the eyes seems very different as well.

Compare

Lyristes. Depending on what area of the world you’re in, the genus Tibicen is often replaced with Lyristes. Prior to the introduction of Auritibicen in 2015, the Tibicen of Asia were called Lyristes. The Tibicen of Europe are called Lyristes as well, like Lyristes plebejus (Scopoli, 1763). The genera of North American Tibicen have all changed as well. I’m not up on the debate but I believe Michel Boulard is advocating for Lyristes. I think the argument against the name was that Latreille came up with Tibicen in 1925, and Horváth came up with Lyristes a century later in 1926. So if you see Lyristes, consider it to be a synonym of Tibicen, Auritibicen, Hadoa, Neotibicen, Megatibicen, etc.

Megapomponia Boulard, 2005 spawned from Pomponia Stål, 1866. Here is a Megapomponia imperatoria. Megapomponia are the largest cicadas so MEGA (from the Greek megas which means “great, large, mighty”) makes sense.

Neotibicen Hill & Moulds, 2015 and Hadoa Moulds 2015 spawned from Tibicen.

Read 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.

Megatibicen Sanborn and Heath 2016 spawned from Neotibicen, which of course spawned from Tibicen.

Read: 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.

Gigatibicen Lee 2016, Ameritibicen Lee 2016, and Paratibicen Lee 2016 spawned from Neotibicen, although it seems like Megatibicen will be preferred over Gigatibicen and Ameritibicen. 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.

Here’s a pretty good chart that explains the Tibicen/ Neotibicen/ Megatibicen/ Gigatibicen/ Ameritibicen/ Paratibicen stuff.

Species changes

Magicicada neotredecim Marshall and Cooley 2000 spawned from Magicicada tredecim (Walsh and Riley, 1868) in 2000 when David Marshall and John Cooley described it as its own unique species. Read Marshall, D.C. & Cooley, J.R. (2000). Reproductive character displacement and speciation in periodical cicadas, with a description of a new species, 13-year Magicicada neotre- decim. — Evolution 54, p. 1313-1325.

Neotibicen tibicen australis (Davis, 1912) was once Tibicen tibicen australis (Davis, 1912) when Neotibicen (genus) spawned from Tibicen in 2015. Prior to the change, this cicada was Tibicen chloromerus var. australis. Read: Tibicen tibicen australis Sanborn, Phillips and Gillis 2008: 4—5, 12, 31, 39, Fig 73, Figs 139—147 (key, synonymy, illustrated, distribution, comp. note) Equals Rihana sayi var. australis Florida, Georgia

Neotibicen tibicen tibicen (Linnaeus, 1758) was called Tibicen chloromera, but then Allen Sanborn (I think) switched it to Tibicen chloromerus (a to an us for correct gender grammar of the species name) in the late 1990s. Then around 2008 Sanborn switched it to Tibicen tibicen because the original name dating back to 1758 was Cicada tibicen.

Megatibicen pronotalis pronotalis Davis, 1938 and Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri Metcalf, 1955 have had a number of changes. Aside from two to three recent changes genus changes, species names have changed as well. Megatibicen pronotalis pronotalis has been called Tibicen walkeri var. pronotalis, Tibicen marginalis var. pronotalis, Tibicen pronotalis walkeri and Tibicen walkeri pronotalis. Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri has been called Tibicen marginalis, Tibicen walkeri, and even Lyristes marginalis. Yikes!

That’s a lot of changes. I used Allan Sanborn’s book Catalogue of the Cicadoidea to verify much of this information. It’s a huge book. No photos, mostly cicada names. 🙂

Editorial: I know a lot of folks are bemused and vexed by these name changes, and many still use the old names. Certainly Tibicen chloromera, regardless of its taxonomic faults, sounds better than Neotibicen tibicen tibicen. Of the changes described above, my favorites (can you have favorites in science?) are Magicicada neotredecim Marshall and Cooley 2000 which is definitely a different insect than Magicicada tredecim (Walsh and Riley, 1868); and Distantalna Boulard, 2009 because Distantalna splendida looks very different than cicadas belonging to the genus Tosena, IMHO.

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

September 30, 2016

A New Tribe for the Hammer-Head Cicada

Filed under: Cicadmalleus | Michel Boulard | Stephane Puissant — Dan @ 4:28 am

A new paper by Michel Boulard & Stéphane Puissant has been released that describes Cicadmalleus micheli, aka the Hammmer-Head cicada of Thailand. As the name of the cicada suggests, the cicada’s head resembles a hammer. The cicada gets a new Tribe as well: Cicadmalleini.

Document details:

Boulard M, Puissant S. Description du mâle de la Cigale-marteau, Cicadmalleus micheli Boulard & Puissant, 2013, et position systématique de l’espèce (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea, Cicadidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France, 121 (3), 2016 : 313-321.

Links:

September 17, 2016

What is Megatibicen?!

Filed under: Allen F. Sanborn | David Marshall | Maxine E. Heath | Megatibicen | Neotibicen — Dan @ 9:39 am

Update (9/20): I guessed the species correctly: all the Large Flute Players.

Update (9/24): I neglected to note that there’s another paper out there by Young June Lee called Description of three new genera, Paratibicen, Megatibicen, and Ameritibicen, of Cryptotympanini (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) and a key to their species. Link to it here. This manuscript goes beyond one new genus, and instead introduces three: Paratibicen, Megatibicen, and Ameritibicen. Lee’s paper differs from Sanborn & Heath in that the large Neotibicen are spit into Megatibicen and Ameritibicen in Young’s document, but they’re all Megatibicen in Sanborn & Heath’s paper.

Megatibicen

Last night I had a rough night’s sleep. I tossed and turned all night long. I remember looking at the clock and seeing 4 am, and thinking “tomorrow is ruined”. Sometime during the night I dreamt of finding thousands of molted Neotibicen exuvia clinging to shrubbery — a rare if not impossible sight in real life.

When I woke I checked my email and found a communication from David Marshall. David is well known and respected in the cicada world for many things including describing the 7th species of Magicicada with John Cooley, as well as being part of the team who defined the Neotibicen and Hadoa genera (link to paper)1.

David wrote to let me know that Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath had published a new paper titled: Megatibicen n. gen., a new North American cicada genus (Hemiptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae: Cryptotympanini), 2016, Zootaxa Vol 4168, No 3.(link).

So, what is MEGATIBICEN? Assumptions after the abstract.

Here is the abstract:

The genus Tibicen has had a confusing history (see summary in Boulard and Puissant 2014; Marshall and Hill 2014; Sanborn 2014). Boulard and his colleague (Boulard 1984; 1988; 1997; 2001; 2003; Boulard and Puissant 2013; 2014; 2015) have argued for the suppression of Tibicen and the taxa derivatived from it in favor of Lyristes Horváth. Boulard’s argument for suppression was first described in Melville and Sims (1984) who presented the case for suppression to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature with further comments made by Hamilton (1985), Boulard (1985), and Lauterer (1985). A lack of action resulted in additional comments being published in 2014 again supporting the retention (Sanborn 2014; Marshall and Hill 2014) or the suppression (Boulard and Puissant 2014) of Tibicen.

My guess, without reading the document, is that Megatibicen includes the larger North America Neotibicen species, including the “auletes group” (M. auletes, M. resh, M. figuratus, M. resonans), the “pronotalis group” (M. pronotalis, M. dealbatus, M. cultriformis) and the “dorsatus group” (M. dorsatus, M. tremulus), or a mix of these. M. auletes is the largest cicada in North America. “Mega” is the Greek word for “very large” or “great”. Word is that Kathy Hill and David Marshall also planned on describing a Megatibicen genus at one point, as well.

Whenever cicada names change it causes feelings of bemusement, discontentment, and discomfort amongst some cicada researchers and fans. I know I don’t like it because I have to update the names of cicadas in 100’s of places on this website ;). Some folks simply disagree with the folks writing the paper. Some people prefer former names because they sound nicer (e.g. N. chloromerus vs N. tibicen tibicen). Some people simply do not like change.

Related: Here’s my article on when Neotibicen & Hadoa were established from Tibicen.

1 Hill, et al. 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) 2015, Zootaxa 3985 (2): 219—251.

September 15, 2016

Last cicada hunt of the year

Filed under: Neocicada — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:31 pm

Once September rolls around in New Jersey (USA) temperatures start to drop, as do the cicadas. Labor Day weekend is a three day last hurrah for the summer. Folks have barbecues, take one last trip to the beach, or one last fishing trip to the lake. It’s one last chance to have some fun before the kids go back to school, the weather gets too cold to wear shorts, and hurricanes start ripping up the coastline. This past Labor Day weekend I found myself at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ. You might have guessed that this park marks the location where founding father General George Washington famously crossed the Delaware River. I think of it was a place to find Neotibicen linnei and Neotibicen winnemanna in the same location.

Some video of their calls:

N. linnei and N. winnemanna belong to the “Green Group” of Neotibicen cicadas. All the cicadas in this group look very similar, and you have to tell them apart by their song or key morphological differences. Even with sound files of their songs to reference, photos and notes, telling them apart can be vexing and bemusing. In some cases species mate and form hybrids which make it even more difficult to tell them apart.

Some images:

A is likely an N. linnei, and C is likely an N. winnemanna.

wings of Linne and Scissor Grinder

Probably an N. linnei although it lacks the wing bend. More black than beige, although that isn’t always a sure indicator of species.
Washington Crossing Neotibicen linnei

Definitely an N. winnemanna because of all the beige on its abdomen. Yes, its head is missing,
N. winnemanna

After wandering the park for a few hours I was rewarded with a few dead specimens. One with eggs still stuck to its ovipositor, which was neat to see. I also recorded their calls — unfortunately no hybrids in the mix.

Part of the fun of traveling to see cicadas is visiting the place where the cicadas live. Washington Crossing State Park is far from the industry and urban decay New Jersey is known for. If you like scenic rivers, pastoral landscapes, American history, farmers markets, and antique stores, this area is for you. For me, it’s a nice place to observe cicadas. The park features many acres of deciduous and evergreen trees, perfect for cicadas. You can also walk the bridge to the Pennsylvania side of the river, where you’ll find more N. winnemanna than N. linnei.

Cicadas will be done mating before the end of September (actual date differs by location), and start dropping from the trees before the leaves being to change color. Go out this weekend and look and listen for the last cicadas of the year.

Oh yeah, here’s the B cicada:

N. winnemanna

September 7, 2016

Linne’s Cicada in Cape May County, NJ

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Neotibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 8:15 pm

Here’s some footage of a Neotibicen linnei in Woodbine, Cape May County, NJ.

Elias almost caught it.

This footage was a byproduct of our cicada hunt for a different cicada, Neotibicen latifasciatus.

August 31, 2016

An early start to Australia’s cicada season

Filed under: Australia | Cystosoma | Nathan Emery — Dan @ 5:56 am

Cicada researcher and photographer Nathan Emery found his first Bladder Cicada (Cystosoma saundersii) for the year. See this iNaturalist page. It is still winter there, so this is particular interesting.

A Bladder cicada looks like this (Cystosoma saundersii):

Bladder cicadas (Cystosoma saundersii)
Photo by David Emery.

Read more about this cicada on Dr. Pop’s website.

August 29, 2016

Neotibicen latifasciatus – the South Jersey Shore Screamer

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Neotibicen — Tags: — Dan @ 9:05 pm

This is a Neotibicen latifasciatus (Davis, 1915) commonly known as the Coastal Scissor Grinder, locally known as a Yodeling Cedar Sucker in Florida and Beach Banshee in North Carolina 3:

Dorsal view of two latifasciatus males

See more photos.

The holotype — a single type specimen on which the description of a new species is based — for the cicada Neotibicen latifasciatus was gathered from Cold Spring, Cape May County1. I feel that N. latifasciatus needs a common name indicative of Cape May, New Jersey. Here are my ideas:

  1. Cape May Crooner
  2. Cape May Crier
  3. Cape May Car Alarm
  4. Shore Shrieker
  5. Woodbine Warbler
  6. South Jersey Shore Screamer

The last one is my favorite (changed it to South ;))

N. latifasciatus is a cicada found along the east coast of the United States, and is known for its preference for cedar trees. It can be found in New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia2, Florida and points in between3. Its affinity for cedar trees (plus its distinct call) makes it relatively easy to locate and capture — if you’re willing to get a little messy climbing through the thick & sticky branches of a cedar tree. A thin mist of sap from the cedar seems to coat the wings of these cicadas, and it’s worth mentioning that their wings are often torn and ragged, probably resulting from the thick cedar foliage.

When William T. Davis first described N. latifasciatus in 19154, he described it as a variety of Cicada pruinosa (now Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus). This is understandable, since they sound very much alike, and look alike except for the the white bands on the sides of the latifasciatus, some other minor morphological differences, and habitats. pruinosus, latifasciatus, winnemanna, linnei, canicularis, and robinsonianus are collectively known as the Green [Neo]tibicen Species3 or simply “the Green Group”.They’re called Green because much of their heads, collars, pronotums and mesonotums are green in color.

On Saturday, August 20th, 2016, I met Elias Bonaros and Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira in Middle Township, Cape May County to search for latifasciatus. I arrived before they did and located a relatively quiet road lined with cedar trees, filled with screaming latifasciatus. From the outside cedars resemble twisting green fire; on the inside they’re a mess of tightly-packed, dirty branches — perfect for an insect to hide. The road and trees were surrounded by briny marshland, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. Other than cicadas, there were an abundance of annoying greenhead flies (Tabanus nigrovittatus), and not annoying at all katydids. The temperature was in the mid 80s, the air was humid, the sun was brutal, and the flies thought I was delicious. In the 5 hours we spent photographing and gathering specimens, I drank a gallon of water. Elias handled cicada procurement duties, and Annette and I recorded the cicadas’ song and habitat.

Here’s a video summary of our adventure:

After a satisfying lunch, I went looking for other locations and found a very different but prime in-land location with taller cedar (Red and White varieties) in Woodbine Borough. There we found many exuvia, which we did not find at the other location, and heard not only latifasciatus, but also N. linnei, N. tibicen tibicen, N. canicularis, and N. auletes. Around 9pm, and almost 12 hours of cicada field-work, I called it quits. Elias and Annette stuck around and were able to observe molting latifasciatus.

The ventral side a male Neotibicen latifasciatus:
Neotibicen latifasciatus abdomen

This cicada was captured using the “clap” method of netting cicadas. This method involves two people using two nets, surrounding the cicada so it can’t find an escape path.

I would be remiss if I did not mention how delightful the people of Cape May County are. All the folks we encountered were pleasantly curious or encouraging about our cicada research activities. They also have “Custard” shops instead of Ice Cream shops.

Also check out Annette’s YouTube channel for video of the latifasciatus habitat and song.

1 Sanborn AF, Phillips PK. 2013. Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. Diversity 2013, 5, 166-239.

2 Sanborn AF, Heath MS. 2012. The Cicadas (Hemipetera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico. Entomological Society of America. 45.

3 BugGuide Species Neotibicen latifasciatus page.

4 Davis WT. 1915a. Notes on some cicadas from the eastern and central United States with a description of a new variety of Cicada pruinosa. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 23: 1—10. (see the North American Cicadas page)

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