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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. … auletes (Germar) [auletes = Megatibicen auletes].

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 8, 2020

Neotibicen lyricen lyricen (De Geer, 1773) aka Lyric Cicada

Filed under: Cryptotympanini | Neotibicen | United States — Tags: — Dan @ 5:31 pm

Neotibicen lyricen lyricen (De Geer, 1773) aka Lyric Cicada.

Lyric cicada
Photo by Dan Mozgai. New Jersey.

All Neotibicen lyricen lyricen images & information on cicadamania.com.

Song type: Call

“Monotonous zinnnnnnnng”:


Source: ©Insect Singers

Video Playlist

Playlists contain multiple videos found on YouTube.

Name, Location and Description

Teneral Lyricen images

These are photographs of the same cicada. On the left, it had recently molted (found on the ground like this). The pastel pink, blue, yellow, and orange colors are striking. An hour and a half later most colors have resolved to browns, except for the wings.
Teneral Lyricen

A Neotibicen lyricen lyricen description by Wm T. Davis from 1918 1

Tibicen lyricen (De Geer). PI. VIII, fig. i.

Red Bank, August, 1917, male (J. G. Kizer) ; Logtown, summer.
1917, female (A. Lutken) ; Rienzi, August 23, 1915, male (H. Y. Jumper).
This is a widely distributed insect in the eastern half of the United States, being found from Texas to Florida, and Kansas to Massachusetts. In the higher parts of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, the variety engcUiardti (Davis) is the pre- vailing form of the species. This is characterized by having the pro- notum and mesonotum nearly all black, except for the somewhat anchor-shaped, tawny spot on the former. It will perhaps be found in the uplands of Mississippi.

The song of lyricen is a rather monotonous zing.

Wm T. Davis’ Identification Key 1

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.

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 [Neotibicen tibicen tibicen], and new variety of davisi [Neotibicen davisi].

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

D. Central area of the abdomen beneath black.

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).

Classification:

Family: Cicadidae
Subfamily: Cicadinae
Tribe: Cryptotympanini
Subtribe: Cryptotympanina
Genus: Neotibicen
Species: Neotibicen lyricen
Sub-species: Neotibicen lyricen lyricen (Degeer, 1773)
Sub-species: Neotibicen lyricen virescens Davis, 1935
Sub-species: Neotibicen lyricen engelhardti (Davis, 1910)

List of sources

  1. Davis, W.T. 1918. Mississippi Cicadas, with a Key to the Species of the Southeastern United States. Journal of The New York Entomological Society. Vol. XXVI. 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 24, 2020

Neotibicen lyricen

Neotibicen lyricen from Bill Reynolds’ collection.

Top row is Neotibicen lyricen lyricen, and Bottom row is Neotibicen lyricen engelhardi.

Neotibicen lyricen from Bill Reynolds collection

March 21, 2020

Swamp and Lyric Cicada Compared

Filed under: Cryptotympanini | Neotibicen | United States — Tags: , — Dan @ 4:28 pm

These photos compare female Swamp (Neotibicen tibicen tibicen) and Lyric (Neotibicen lyricen lyricen) cicadas. Photos by me (Dan Mozgai).

Ventral view. Females. Neotibicen tibicen tibicen top, Neotibicen lyricen lyricen bottom:
Lyric and Swamp Cicada

Dorsal view. Females. Neotibicen tibicen tibicen top, Neotibicen lyricen lyricen bottom:
Swamp and Lyric Cicada

Female Neotibicen lyricen lyricen:
Lyric cicada

Female Neotibicen tibicen tibicen:
Swamp cicada

March 7, 2010

10 new Tibicen photos from Elias Bonaros

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.

Click the images for larger versions:

July 3, 2009

Time for the yearly Neotibicen post

Filed under: Neotibicen — Tags: , — Dan @ 11:37 am

The Tibicen is the genus of annual cicada most people are familiar with.

Lyric and Swamp Cicada

Here are some general details about Tibicen:

  • They emerge every summer. They do not emerge in broods.
  • They emerge in small numbers (small relative to periodical cicadas).
  • They are timid and elusive compared to periodical cicadas.
  • Most are physically larger than periodical cicadas.
  • They are well camouflaged: their colors and patterns of colors help to hide them in their surroundings. They look like little military vehicles, IMHO.
  • Colloquial names for Tibicens: August Dry Birds, Dog Day cicadas, Harvest Flies, Jar Flies, Bush Cicada (Tibicen dorsatus, formerly T. dorsata)

Swamp cicada

Some cool Tibicen posts and pages you should check out:

An image from Roy Troutman:

Tibicen fresh out the shell

Tibicen tibicen (T. chloromerus, T. chloromera)

Tibicen cholormera Cicada