Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female

Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - Female
Treyburn area, Snowhill Road north of Cabin Branch Creek, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
August 14, 2003
Size: 37 mm
Close-up/lateral view of head, thorax.

ID TBA--PC. This may be T. pruinosa, see comments.

Images of this individual: tag all
Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female

TIbicen linnei (?)
With regards to these 4 images, there has been a long running debate on the "correct" identification of this cicada. The separation of Tibicen linnei from Tibicen winnemana may at times be impossible without the specimen in hand (lit. & per. comm.)! At the time these discussions were held, the reservoir of reference specimens from this part of NC was slim and the full extent of variability not fully observed. Subsequent collecting efforts and comparisons have been a bit more revealing and at the same time confounding (i.e. there seems to be sufficient evidence to support rather extensive hybridization between winnemana & linnei in this area - per. observ. & per. comm.)!!!

If you carefully read all of the comment streams, you will see there is debate on which characters weigh heviest in the correct identification. I have listed a brief synopsis of characters discussed below and the points raised during the debate. Unfortunately both arguments have strong points and validity.

1) The black face mask is variable in both taxa (Unrevealing)
2) Line bisection test can be variable in both taxa (Unrevealing)
3) Dorsal coloration and distribution of Black pigmentation can be variable in both taxa (Unrevealing)
4) Brown maculations along the dorsum of the abdomen can be variable in T. winnemana, even absent (hence unrevealing in this case)
5) T. linnei can possess slight brown edging to the abdominal tergites (Unrevealing)
6) T. linnei is a bit more gracile in appearance as compared to winnemana (a dorsal aspect is needed to best observe this character, as seen here). This cicada is rather slender when viewed from above and suggestive of linnei.
7) Perhaps the ventral aspect would be the best character in this case, unfortunately it is not available.

Of the 4 images, it is the dorsal aspect that is most suggestive of T. linnei (gracile). Although there appears to be slight tan maculation(s) along the dorsum, it is not sufficient for adequate separation as both taxa may possess small amounts of brown to none at all.

Please note, the cicada in this image shares similar dimensions and build. Although not completely typical of most linnei (per. comm.), in all liklihood it too belogs to this taxon.

For the reasons listed above, I am placing this series of images back under Tibicen linnei.

Identification of cicadas is not absolute even when series of specimens are in hand. Identification of images can be even more difficult and I am always willing to admit a mistake. I am also constantly reviewing not only other cicada images, but my own, in attempt to continue learning and adding to my knowledge base and the resources here on bugguide.

In this case I am willing to concede and place this series back under linnei since more recent comparisons and females of winnemana have become available.


My pencils still have erasers and my keyboard a backspace button ;)

Moved from Tibicen winnemana.

Moved from Linne's cicada.

Tibicen winnemana (?)
You got me on this one - It just doesn't feel like T. linnei.

You and I have to get together and collect some cicadas this year!
I know of a few T. winnemana populations in the area ... and we'll need a long net ;)

The females of T. winnemana & T. linnei possess several overlapping traits - a real mess if you ask me.

Not Tibicen chloromera
Tibicen chloromera is a darker species with the mesonotum being almost entirely black, having a black pronotal collar and a green pronotum as in this example and this example also chloromeras do not have a black stripe located medially in a ventral view.

With the pictures available this could be T. pruinosa or one of its sub-species or perhaps T. linnei. If there was more information such as wing length and a better lateral photo to see wing shape a more accurate ID can be made.

I would suggest moving this to Tibicen.

Additional images
I searched through my originals and found a photo with a scale, now replacing the original dorsal view, and a full-width lateral view.

Thanks for your help--these are tough.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Roger, forewing length
Measuring the wing-length on the screen and applying the ratio based on 54 mm total length, the length of the forewing is 44 mm.

Will move to Tibicen pending further work.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Tibicen chloromera
Tibicen chloromera

Thanks, Andy!
OK, yet another T. chloromera. Brimely (1) wasn't kidding when he said this was the most common species in the state.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina