Archived content - Cicada (34 of 46)

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C. A Fascinating Fauna (Continued)

Cicada species occurring in more than one region of the world are marked with an asterisk (*).

10D-2. Great cicadas (true Tibicen)

Tibicen auletes (Germar), (= northern records of T. resonans), Scissor-grinder

Tibicen auletes

Adults: Head 14.5-16 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 5.5-6.5 cm; male opercula not covering bilobed auditory segment, broadly rounded, projecting 7 mm beyond hind leg base; uncus wider than long, tapered to weakly notched tip. Colour more uniform than in T. linnei, and underside of abdomen without dark stripe; both upper and lower surfaces of its body usually appearing floury.

This species is sometimes said to be "the largest cicada in North America", possibly in confusion with T. resonans Walker, a species of the southern USA, which has a head up to 19 mm wide and an overall length as much as 7 cm.

Description of this image follows

Underside of Tibicen auletes showing the male opercula (Op)

Song: A deep, pulsating buzz, dir-dir-dir-dir-dirr-dirrrrr, gradually increasing and then subsiding, likened to the noise made by a hand-held roller skate rapidly and repeatedly pushed a few inches over a concrete sidewalk and briefly held in the air between strokes. It is heard from early in the morning and late in the afternoon to dusk, late June to early October.

Range: Pine woods from Louisiana east to Florida, north to Massachusetts and Michigan; records from prairie states probably are incorrect identifications of T. resonans. In Canada restricted to sandy lake shores of southern Ontario; so far recorded only from Grand Bend (on Lake Huron) and Turkey Point (on Lake Erie).

Tibicen pronotalis Davis, (= C. marginata Say, T. marginalis Walker, T. walkeri Metcalf) * Night Harvestfly

Tibicen pronotalis

Adults: Head 14.5-16 mm wide; overall length (wings folded) 5.5-7 cm; male opercula broadly rounded, projecting 7 mm beyond leg base but barely covering auditory segment; uncus slightly longer than wide, rapidly tapered to narrow, rounded tip. Upper side of body variable in colour, either mottled as in T. auletes, or with the first segment of the thorax contrasting green, or with the centre of this segment with a large, black patch; lower side a uniform tan, usually appearing floury.

Song: Similar to that of  T. dealbatus Footnote 1. This suggests that T. pronotalis is an eastern colour form of T. dealbatus.

Range: Mexico to Florida, north to North Dakota and Ohio. Records of this species from New York state undoubtably refer to T. auletes.

See The North America Genera and Picture Guide

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