Other Common Names
"Morning Cicada"(coinage, perhaps a more appropriate name)
"Green Annual Cicada"
a.k.a. "Dryfly", "Black-back Dryfly", "July-fly" & "Locust"
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
(Walker, 1850), the widely used name, has been shown to be a junior synonym of Tibicen tibicen
(L.) (Sanborn, 2008, see also Cicadas of Michigan
(gender/spelling--see discussion on Tibicen
Explanation of Names
The long-standing name for this common species, Tibicen chlormera
, has apparently been changed to Tibicen tibicen
based on priority. See Synonyms and references. --Cotinis
17 October 2008.
2 defined subspecies & several populations with "distinctive traits"
collar often black (may be marked with green or solid green in some populations); pronotal shoulder patches large, solid green; mesonotum
largely black (mesonotum may be patterned with green and reddish brown in some populations, particularly those from lower elevations and across the deep south); conspicuous dorsolateral white spot where abdomen
; abdomen beneath with midline only slightly darker than rest, sometimes only at base of each sternite
Reported to call from 8-11 a.m., with a "rising crescendo" call lasting about eight seconds. (See: Cicada Info
For details differentiating T. tibicen (chloromerus) from T. lyricen, please refer to the "Remarks" section below.
Widespread across much of the eastern USA extending into southern Canada.
Spurious reports from extreme eastern Prairies
Scattered reports from eastern Texas
Common across Louisiana north into Missouri (Mississippi River Valley and associated tributaries).
Common across much of the Mid-West north into the Great Lakes area.
There are records for this species along the Great Lakes in southern Canada.
Common across the Southeast - incl. the Deep South & Mid-South (partic. the Gulf States).
Common along the Atlantic seaboard from Florida to New York (documented populations are scattered across parts of New England).
Populations in peninsular Florida north across the lower 1/3rd of Georgia are representative of ssp. australis.
Nearly all ecosystems across the southeast - esp. Deciduous forests
Recorded from most ecosystems across the Midwest - esp. Deciduous forests
Recorded from most ecosystems across the Mid-Atlantic - esp. Deciduous forests
Recorded from coastal ecosystems across the southern parts of New England - esp. Deciduous forests
June-Oct (Georgia & South Carolina)
June-September (North Carolina)
July-August across most of the range
various plants, shrubs and trees
eggs usually laid in dead twigs, wood or bark
(occasionally eggs may be laid in living stems and twigs)
eggs hatch and nymphs burrow into the soil
nymphs feed on the sap in roots for several years
Final instar nymphs emerge and develop into winged adults (emergence for this species usu. occurs at night)
Tibicen lyricen and Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) are often confused with one another. It is not an uncommon mistake to mis id. these two species since both are subject to regional and individual variability - hence frequently confused.
Pronotal and mesonotal patterns are variable in both Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) and in T. lyricen; however, living or freshly dead chloromerus specimens have distinctly green pronotal patches in both the teneral and sclerotized states. Additionally, the green patches are usually better defined in T. tibicen than in lyricen.
Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus)
1) Greater development of the paired pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen
(less developed in T. lyricen)
2) Bright mint-green legs (occasionally with light brown at the terminal ends of the tibia/tarsi)
3) The green in the pronotum of these cicadas is a clean bright "leaf green" in both the teneral and sclerotized forms (excluding ssp. australis which is typically very dark green)
4) The pronotal collar is often black but may have green intrusion or even green in some individuals/populations
5) Although some Swamp Cicadas may have dark eyes (usu. very dark green), the vast majority of T. tibicen specimens have distinct greenish hues when alive/fresh
6) Venter of abdomen with No dark stripe (lacks the black pigmentation as seen in lyricen)
7) Males have elongated opercula (yellowish-green in color)
Ventral aspect is basically the same in both subspecies (ssp. australis & ssp. tibicen). The opercula of T. australis may be slightly longer (?)
Tibicen lyricen, Lyric Cicada
T. lyricen may strongly resemble T. tibicen, however, note the following traits.
1) Less development of the paired pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen
(esp. in females of lyricen; males usu. possess the paired spots but they are smaller by comparison than those seen in males of T. tibicen ... always large and better developed in both genders of T. tibicen)
2) Dark brown/reddish-brown legs (occasionally with hints of green - tenerals may have green legs!!)
3) The green in the pronotum of these cicadas is typically not as clean or "leaf green" as in Tibicen tibicen (exception in ssp. virescens)
4) BLACK Pronotal collar (rarely with brown intrusion) is well developed in both genders and in all subspecies and color variants
5) Dark eyes: when alive/fresh, T. lyricen has dark black/brown eyes (rarely with dark greenish black hues when teneral)
6) Ventral black stripe on venter of abdomen is well developed in both genders and in all subspecies and color variants
7) Males of this species have oblique opercula (reddish-tan in color)
Tibicen tibicen ssp. tibicen
Often confused with the following:
"Swamp Cicadas"/"The chloromerus Group"
"Lyric Cicadas"/"The lyricen Group"
*Tibicen bermudianus [T. bermudiana (Verrill 1902)], "Bermuda Cicada"- EXTINCT
(*Most closely related to T. lyricen, this cicada was endemic to the Bermuda Islands. Sadly, this cicada is now EXTINCT due to habitat and host plant loss. Unfortunately, disease threats to the host plant, Bermuda cedar, Juniperus bermudiana continue to threaten its existence as well.)
Brimley, p. 86, lists as most common species in its genus from North Carolina. (1)
Sanborn, 2008. The Identity Of Cicada tibicen
Linné [=Tibicen chloromerus
(Walker, 1850)] (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae). Entomological News 119(3): 227–231 (abstract