Archived content - Cicada (30 of 46)
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C. A Fascinating Fauna (Continued)
10B. The North American Genera
The Genera of North American cicadas are usually segregated into "periodical" cicadas (genus Magicicada) (Section 10C) with eyes contrasting, with the blue-black body; and 'annual' cicadas (various genera) which usually lack contrastingly colours and often have mottled or pale bodies. The largest annual cicadas belong to genus Tibicen (Section 10D) in the northern fauna, these all have heads usually at least 12 mm wide, whereas the cicadas belonging to the genus Diceroprocta (Section 10E) (formerly included in Tibicen) have heads 8.5-11 mm wide, and other annual cicadas belonging to genera Cicadetta, Neocicada, Okanagana and Platypedia have heads no more than 8 mm wide. Of these, genus Cicadetta (Section 10I) has the smallest adults, less than 2 cm long. Of the remainder, genus Platypedia (Section 10F) (a western genus) is most easily recognized by the slender, neck-like thorax. Genus Neocicada (Section 10G) (formerly included in Cicada) is a southern genus with a mottled head which ranges from Texas to the Atlantic coast as far north as Long Island in New York state, whereas genus Okanagana (Section 10H) is a northern and western genus of cicadas with dark heads; the colour patterns of these two genera are quite different.
Immature cicadas, or their empty "shells" (exuviae) are often found clinging to plants. These are difficult to identify to genus, and usually impossible to identify to species. Neocicada (southeastern), Platypedia and Okanagana (northern and western) have banded abdomens, while other genera are plain brown: Magicicada are rather flattened, with redbrown eyes, while Tibicen are hump-backed and an uniform colour.
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