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October 20, 2023

Megatibicen grossus odds and ends

Filed under: Exuvia | Megatibicen | Photos & Illustrations — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:44 pm

I had virtually no time in the summer of 2023 to look for cicadas outside my town. Also in 2023, the name of Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) aka Northern Dusk Singing Cicada changed to Megatibicen grossus. While I was not lucky enough to see a Megatibicen grossus, I did find exuvia (molted skins), a headless corpse and some exit holes in late August in the Brendan Byrne park in New Jersey. Something is better than nothing.

A male exuvia and a headless female Megatibicen grossus
Small exuvia and  female Megatibicen corpse

A headless female Megatibicen grossus
Small female Megatibicen corpse

A Megatibicen grossus exuvia with ruler.
Small Megatibicen exuvia

A Megatibicen grossus hole
Small Megatibicen hole

Three exuvia top to bottom: Megatibicen auletes, Neotibicen sp., Neocicada hieroglyphica
Small image of Megatibicen, Neotibicen and Neocicada skins.

August 1, 2023

Megatibicen auletes is changing to Megatibicen grossus

Filed under: Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: — Dan @ 10:20 am

Update: originally I had Megatibicen grossa, but the name is Megatibicen grossus so the gender of the words align.

Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) aka Northern Dusk Singing Cicada is changing to Megatibicen grossus(Fabricius, 1775). This cicada is the largest cicada in North America and is found in the following states in July-August: 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.

The change comes from the paper: Sanborn, A.F. (2023) Resolving taxonomic issues of cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) including new combinations, new synonymies, and revised status, with updates on the diversity of the Brazilian cicada fauna and new records for four South American countries. Zootaxa, VOL. 5318 NO. 3: 20 JUL. 2023, 339-362. DOI: 10.11646/ZOOTAXA.5318.3.2.

Megatibicen grossus (as in BIG FLUTE PLAYER BIG):
Old Ladies

Reading the paper referenced above, it sounds like Johan Christian Fabricius incorrectly identified an specimen as being from Brazil. He named it Tettigonia grossa in 1775. Allen F. Sanborn compared the holotype of Tettigonia grossa with the holotype for Megatibicen auletes (Cicada auletes) and determined it was the same insect. Since old names take precedence over new names, auletes become grossa.

March 27, 2022

Megatibicen auletes singing at dusk in Brendan T Byrne State Park in New Jersey on July 15th 2021

Filed under: Megatibicen | Sounds | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | United States | Video — Tags: , — Dan @ 6:46 am

Here’s a video of a Megatibicen auletes cicada singing at dusk in Brendan T Byrne State Park in New Jersey on July 15th, 2021.

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada.

April 18, 2020

Davis’ Key to Species of the Genus Tibicen found in the Southeastern United States

Davis provided a key of cicadas that belong to the then genus Tibicen in his 1918 article Mississippi Cicadas, with a Key to the Species of the Southeastern United States from volume 26 of the Journal of The New York Entomological Society. Download it from archive.org. This guide works for the Northeast and Midwest as well.

Mississippi Cicadas

Since 1918, genus and some species names have changed, so I’m going to present the key here, with highlighted notes on the updated names + images (when I have them). I’ll try to replicate the formatting of the original document as best I can.

Here goes…

Key to Species of the Genus Tibicen found in the Southeastern United States [works for most states east of the Rocky Mountains].

Note: the cicadas in the key are now organized in three genera: Neotibicen (A B), Megatibicen (A BB), and Diceroprocta (AA).

A. Large, heavy-bodied species; head broad, uncus [male genitals] simple, and first cross vein in the fore wings starting from radius 3 far back or about one-third distant from base of the first marginal cell.

     B. Uncus longer than broad. Black species with green or greenish markings and black area on the central part of the abdomen beneath, except in sayi [sayi = Neotibicen tibicen tibicen], and new variety of davisi [new variety of davisi = Neotibicen davisi harnedi].

Note: this group of cicadas (B) are now organized under the genus Neotibicen, not Tibicen.

         C. Hind margin of pronotum or collar, green or greenish.

             A narrow irregular area of black on the under side of the abdomen; opercula short and broad, and usually in the males an attenuated, pruinose [frosty white] stripe each side on the dorsum of segment three … pruinosa (Say). [pruinosa = Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus].

N. pruinosus

Neotibicen pruinosus pruinosus
photo by Paul Krombholz.

             Dorsum of abdomen with the hind margin of the segments more or less brown and generally but a trace of pruinose stripe each side on segment three … pruinosa var. winnemanna (Davis) [pruinosa var. winnemanna = Neotibicen winnemanna].

[Generally speaking, east of the Appalachian mountains, you’ll find Neotibicen winnemanna, and west, it’s Neotibicen pruinosus.]

Neotibicen winnemanna Garner NC
Photo of a Neotibicen winnemanna.

             Dorsum of abdomen shining black with a broad pruinose mark each side on segment three; blackened area on under side of abdomen more in the nature of an even stripe … pruinosa var latifasciata (Davis) [pruinosa var. latifasciata = Neotibicen latifasciatus].

             A longitudinal band of black on the under side of the abdomen, the opercula more lobate, and the margin of the front wings suddenly bent near the middle … linnei (Smith & Grossbeck) [linnei = Neotibicen linnei].

Neotibicen linnei
Photo of a Neotibicen linnei.

             A definite longitudinal band of black on the under side of the abdomen; head with the front rather prominent. Not a large species … canicularis (Harris) [canicularis = Neotibicen canicularis].

             An irregular band of black on the under side of the abdomen, head rounded in front; a rather small species … davisi (Smith & Grossbeck) [davisi = Neotibicen davisi davisi].

             Abdomen greenish centrally on under side, blackened area wanting, marginal cells of fore wings clouded … davisi var. harnedi new variety [davisi var. harnedi = Neotibicen davisi harnedi].

Krombholz Davisi compared
Photo by Paul Krombhold. Neotibicen davisi harnedi (left), Neotibicen davisi davisi (right).

        CC. Hind margin of pronotum or collar black or nearly so (except in sayi var. australis).

            D. Central area of the abdomen beneath black.

                 Opercula long and with the legs usually somewhat chest- nut colored ; the uncus when seen in profile forked, resembling the open mouth of a snake … similaris (Smith & Grossbeck) [similaris = Neotibicen similaris similaris].

                 Opercula much shorter, more rounded, and the black area on the under side of the abdomen in the nature of an even stripe. Uncus not forked … lyricen (De Geer) [lyricen = Neotibicen lyricen lyricen].

                 Blacker than typical lyricen, lacking the considerable amount of fulvous markings on the pronotum and mesonotum. A fulvous somewhat anchor-shaped mark centrally on the pronotum … lyricen var. engelhardti (Davis) [lyricen var. engelhardti = Neotibicen lyricen engelhardti].

            DD. Central area of the abdomen not black beneath, often pruinose, as well as the long opercula.

                 Collar black, often with a greenish spot each side near the outer angles. … sayi (Smith & Grossbeck) [sayi = Neotibicen tibicen tibicen].

                 Collar all green or nearly so, as well as the pronotum and mesonotum … sayi var. australis (Davis) [sayi = Neotibicen tibicen australis].

    BB. The uncus is broad at the base, triangular in shape, and generally about as broad as long. Opercula broad and rounded at the extremities no definite black area on the central part of the abdomen beneath, usually unicolorus.

Note: this group of cicadas (BB) are now organized under the genus Megatibicen, not Tibicen.

         E. Wings long and narrow, collar 2 mm. or less in breadth at central portions ; dorsum of abdomen black or nearly so.

             Basal cell of fore wings rusty in color, anal cells (membranes) of both pair of wings gray; usually expands 110 mm. or more … resonans (Walker) [resonans = Megatibicen resonans].

Neotibicen resonans photos by Joe Green from 2007, taken in Florida.
Photo of a Megatibicen resonans by Joe Green.

             Basal cell of fore wings often black or nearly so, anal cells of both pair of wings yellowish. Expands about 100 mm … figurata (Walker) [figurata = Megatibicen figuratus].

M. figurata
Photo of a Megatibicen figuratus by Paul Krombholz.

         EE. Wings broad, hind margin of the pronotum or collar green or greenish and more than 2 mm. broad.

             F. Anal cells or membranes at base of fore and hind wings gray.

                 Dorsal segments of the abdomen not margined with brown ; in fresh specimens the basal segments pruinose, also the terminal segments, leaving the four middle segments black. A large species expanding over 110 mm. … grossus (Fabricius) [grossus = Megatibicen grossus].

Megatibicen auletes, the largest cicada in North America
Photo of a Megatibicen auletes.

             FF. Anal cells or membranes at base of fore and hind wings light orange, two prominent marks on the mesonotum resembling the Hebrew letter resh inverted.

                 Fore wings with the first and second cross veins clouded, and the dorsum of the abdomen brownish or brownish black … resh (Haldeman) [resh = Megatibicen resh].

Megatibicen resh molting adult
Photo of a Megatibicen resh.

                 Fore wings with the first and second cross veins but faintly or not at all clouded and the abdominal segments margined posteriorly with brown. In fresh specimens there is usually a median row of white spots on the dorsum of the abdomen … marginalis (Walker) [marginalis = Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri].

Megatibicen pronotalis photo by Roy Troutman, taken in Batavia, Ohio
Photo of a Megatibicen pronotalis walkeri by Roy Troutman.

AA. Small species; wings starting from about the middle of the first marginal cell.

Note: this group of cicadas (AA) are now organized under the genus Diceroprocta, not Tibicen.

     G. First and second cross veins of fore wings clouded.

         Expanse of wings about 90 mm … biconica (Walker) [biconica = Diceroprocta biconica].

         Expanse of wings about 60 mm … olympusa (Walker) [olympusa = Diceroprocta olympusa].

Diceroprocta olympusa photos by Joe Green from 2007.
Photo of a Diceroprocta olympusa by Joe Green.

     GG. First and second cross veins of fore wings not clouded, wings clear throughout and expanding about 70 mm.

         Head rather large, front rounded, collar greenish or yellowish and contrasted in color rather sharply with the brown and black of pronotum and mesonotum … viridifascia (Walker) [viridifascia = Diceroprocta viridifascia].

         Head proportionately smaller than in the last ; front more pro- truding;- collar not so contrastingly colored and fore wings narrower … vitripennis (Say) [vitripennis = Diceroprocta vitripennis].


Diceroprocta vitripennis photo by Paul Krombholz.

and that’s all folks…

April 4, 2020

Megatibicen grossus aka Northern Dusk Singing Cicada formerly Megatibicen grossus

Filed under: Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) | United States — Tags: , — Dan @ 7:53 am

Megatibicen grossus (Fabricius, 1775) aka Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. It’s the biggest cicada in North America!

FYI, the name of this cicada is changing to Megatibicen grossus (Fabricius, 1775). See: Sanborn, A.F. (2023) Resolving taxonomic issues of cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) including new combinations, new synonymies, and revised status, with updates on the diversity of the Brazilian cicada fauna and new records for four South American countries. Zootaxa, VOL. 5318 NO. 3: 20 JUL. 2023, 339-362. DOI: 10.11646/ZOOTAXA.5318.3.2

Dorsal view. Neotibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

See all Megatibicen auletes photos and information on cicadamania.com (there is a lot)!

Song type: Call

Source: ©Insect Singers | Species: M. auletes

Video

Video Playlist

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Name, Location and Description

Song and morphological descriptions by Wm. T. Davis from MISSISSIPPI CICADAS, WITH A KEY TO THE SPECIES OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES1

Its song is monotonous in tone and not loud, considering the size
of the insect. It often commences to sing late in the afternoon and continues off and on until dark.

A. Large, heavy bodied species ; head broad, uncus simple, and first cross vein in the fore wings starting from radius 3 far back, or about one third distant from base of first marginal cell.

BB. Uncus broad at the base, triangular in shape and generally about as broad as long. Opercula broad and rounded at the extremities; no definite black area on the central part of the abdomen beneath, usually unicolorus.

EE. Wings broad, hind margin of the pronotum or collar green or greenish and more than 2 mm. broad.

F. Anal cells or membranes at base of fore and hind wings gray. Dorsal segments of the abdomen not margined with brown ; in fresh specimens the basal segments pruinose, also the terminal segments, leaving the four middle segments black. A large species expanding over 110 mm.

A comparison of teneral (soft) and sclerotized (hard) M. auletes

Teneral Auletes
Photo by Paul Krombholz.

Classification:

Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
Subtribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Megatibicen
Species: Megatibicen auletes (Germar, 1834)

List of sources

  1. Davis, W.T. 1919. MISSISSIPPI CICADAS, WITH A KEY TO THE SPECIES OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. XXVI, Nos. 3-4. Read on archive.org
  2. Full Binomial Names: ITIS.gov
  3. Common names: BugGuide.net; The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Herschberger; personal memory.
  4. Locations: Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips.
  5. Descriptions, Colors: personal observations from specimens or photos from many sources. Descriptions are not perfect, but may be helpful.

Notes:

  • Some descriptions are based on aged specimens which have lost some or a lot of their color.

March 28, 2020

2018 Megatibicen auletes hunt

Filed under: Elias Bonaros | Megatibicen — Tags: , — Dan @ 8:14 am

Each year I go to Manchester, NJ to look for Megatibicen auletes aka Northern Dusk-Singing Cicadas. There are auletes in my zipcode, but they’re easier to find in the southern-half of New Jersey. The location is a favorite of Elias Bonaros’, and more times than not we sync-up and go auletes hunting as a team. Good times.

Two auletes are better than one:

M. auletes nymph:

M. auletes exit hole:
Neotibicen auletes exit hole

Megatibicen auletes in Manchester NJ:
Megatibicen auletes in Manchester NJ

Megatibicen auletes exuvia in Manchester NJ:
Megatibicen auletes exuvia in Manchester NJ

Megatibicen auletes climbing tree:
Megatibicen auletes climbing tree

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada.

March 24, 2020

Megatibicen grossus formerly Megatibicen auletes photos

Megatibicen auletes from Bill Reynolds’ collection. A lot of cicadas! People send Bill cicadas from all over the U.S., because he’s a renowned cicada expert, and his collection grows and grows. Lucky guy.

Neotibicen auletes from Bill Reynolds collection

Neotibicen auletes from Bill Reynolds collection

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada.

March 15, 2020

Various Megatibicen and Neotibicen compared

This image was created by Paul Krombholz back when Megatibicen and Neotibicen were just Tibicen.

Tibicen composite by Paul Krombholz

Top row, left to right:
Neotibicen davisi (formerly Tibicen davisi)
Megatibicen grossus (formerly Megatibicen grossus, Tibicen auletes)
Megatibicen figuratus (formerly Tibicen figurata)
Megatibicen pronotalis (formerly Tibicen marginalis)

Bottom row, left to right:
Neotibicen tibicen tibicen (formerly Tibicen chloromera)
Neotibicen pruinosus (formerly Tibicen pruinosa)
Neotibicen lyricen (formerly Tibicen lyricen)

February 29, 2020

Squashed Megatibicen auletes

Filed under: Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: , — Dan @ 4:36 pm

Squashed Megatibicen auletes. Not sure who stepped on it. It’s an interesting look at its anatomy.

Poor smashed Megatibicen auletes.

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada.

Megatibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson

Filed under: Megatibicen | Tacuini (Cryptotympanini) — Tags: , — Dan @ 4:19 pm

Megatibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson. The year was 2011. The cicada’s name was Mortimer. No kidding.

Megatibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson. 2011.

Megatibicen auletes found in Winston-Salem, NC by Erin Dickinson. 2011.

* Note as of 2023 the name of this cicada has changed to Megatibicen grossus. You can also call it a Northern Dusk-Signing Cicada.

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