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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Neotibicen latifasciatus - "Coastal Scissor(s) Grinder"

Tibicen latifasciatus - Neotibicen latifasciatus - male Tibicen latifasciatus - Neotibicen latifasciatus - female Tibicen latifasciatus - Neotibicen latifasciatus - female Tibicen latifasciatus - Neotibicen latifasciatus - male Fort Caswell cicada2 - Neotibicen latifasciatus - male Neotibicen latifasciatus - male Coastal Scissor Grinder Cicada - Neotibicen latifasciatus Cicada sp? - Neotibicen latifasciatus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Free-living Hemipterans)
Superfamily Cicadoidea (Cicadas, Leafhoppers, and Treehoppers)
Family Cicadidae (Cicadas)
Subfamily Cicadinae
Genus Neotibicen (Annual or Dogday Cicadas)
Species latifasciatus ("Coastal Scissor(s) Grinder")
Other Common Names
"Scissor(s) Grinder"

"Coastal Scissor(s) Grinder" - NOTE: This common name, though not formally published, is used to distinguish latifasciatus from pruinosus nominate (suggested/coined Bill Reynolds, 2008).

less frequently used coloquial names include (per. comm.):
"Yodelling Cedar Sucker" (central Florida)
"Beach Banshee" (se. North Carolina)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Tibicen latifasciatus Davis 1915 syn. Tibicen pruinosus latifasciatus
The "Tibicen pruinosus species complex" is often divided into three distinct taxa (pruinosus, winnemanna, and latifasciatus); while some consider each a distinct species, others may refer to them as "subspecies".
Size
25-30 mm (body length, 1-1.5 inches)
Identification
T. latifasciatus is visually similar to Tibicen pruinosus; however, both genders of T. latifasciatus are more vividly patterned with well defined pruinose bars on the abdomen.

Quick points (some traits mentioned below may be subject to variation and overlap between and among pruinosus, winnemanna &/or latifasciatus)
The coloration and pattern in latifasciatus can be described as more vivid, deeper and better defined than seen in winnemana & pruinosus.
The clypeal shield of latifasciatus often seems to project forward a bit more than seen in the other 2 taxa from this complex.
Typically, T. latifasciatus has a well defined bisected pronotal collar (there is a small vertical hair-line mark centrally located on the pronotal collar dividing it into left and right sides - this mark is absent in winnemana & rarely if ever seen in pruinosus).
The abdomen of latifasciatus is described as "glossy black" and usually lacks the light tan or brown markings/edging to the tergites often seen in the other 2 taxa.
The abdomens in both pruinosus and winnemanna are described as a "flat black" and are rarely if ever glossy black as seen in latifasciatus.
The overall frosted or dusted pruinosity seen in many pruinosus/winnemanna - esp. on the abdomen - is lacking in latifasciatus.
Specimens of T. latifasciatus have a well defined glossy ventral black stripe on the abdomen. This characteristic is less defined to absent in pruinosus and absent in winnemanna.

Ventral comparisons
winnemanna

pruinosus

latifasciatus


MALES: Typically, the pruinose bars behind the tymbal covers in males of T. pruinosus and T. winnemanna are less striking and defined than those seen in T. latifasciatus. However, there may be some overlap in pattern when comparing T. latifasciatus with T. pruinosus specimens from the more northern & western parts of the pruinosus range (i.e. greater pattern is often seen in material from the eastern Plains). Note, despite these similarities in pruinosity, the patterns seen in these western T. pruinosus specimens still remain less defined and contrasted than seen in T. latifasciatus.

Eastern T. winnemanna, North Carolina & Pennsylvania


Southern/Eastern T. pruinosus, Alabama & Mississippi


Northern/Western T. pruinosus, Kansas & Indiana


T. latifasciatus, NC & Delaware


FEMALES: Females of T. pruinosus possess 2 well defined pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen, while females of T. winnemanna generally have greatly reduced spots or lack such markings altogether (refer to images below). In contrast, females of T. latifasciatus possess 3 large white bars resembling "gill slits". (Note: the first 2 bars in females of T. latifasciatus are compressed and appear to be a single mark giving the appearance of "2 bars")

Eastern T. winnemanna, North Carolina & South Carolina


Eastern T. winnemanna, Pennsylvania


Southern/Eastern T. pruinosus, Mississippi & Texas


Northern/Western T. pruinosus, Illinois & Nebraska


T. latifasciatus, Florida


Males of T. latifasciatus typically call during the day, (sunlight hours) from 8:00 am to early evening (prior to sunset) and strong chorus activity can be heard all day. In contrast, T. pruinosus & T. winnemanna are both most active in the evening/dusk 'til shortly after sunset, with occasional light chorus activity at sporadic times during the day.

Despite similarities, it is the consensus among specialists that T. latifasciatus is distinct from T. pruinosus & winnemanna and should be recognized as such (among these supporting differences are morphology, behavior, distribution, and host associations).

Additional notes on T. pruinosus and T. winnemanna and how they relate to one another but differ from latifasciatus:
DISTRIBUTION & INTERGRADATION: With regards to geographic distribution, T. latifasciatus has thus far proven to be allopatric, or to the very least, parapatric with winnemanna. Given this distributional relationship and apparent lack of interaction between the two, many interpret latifasciatus as representative of a distinct taxon.
In stark contrast, T. winnemanna appears to readily transition or hybridize/intergrade with T. pruinosus across much of the upper mid-South (incl. the Gulf States & the Tennesse River Valley of s. Tennessee & n. Alabama). Since many of these insects possess characters typical of both pruinosus & winnemanna, taxonomic placement of such specimens and defining their geographic distributions has been difficult. Additionally, both pruinosus and winnemanna possess similar calls and behaviors. Given the behavioral similarities coupled with geographic continuity & "blending", pruinosus and winnemanna likely represent a single taxon and might better be described as clinal. However, more work is needed to fully understand the relationships between these two taxa.

& Tibicen winnemanna (Davis 1912) [syn. T. pruinosa winnemanna],"Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada" are likely conspecific representing a complex cline, while T. latifasciatus, the "Coastal Scissor Grinder", is distinct.

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NOTES on calling behaviors for members of the T. pruinosus complex:

Perhaps the most notable differences among the calls of T. pruinosus, T. winnemana and T. latifasciatus involves males' calling times and activities. Males of T. latifasciatus typically call during the day, (sunlight hours) from 8:00 am to early evening (prior to sunset) and strong chorus activity can be heard all day. In contrast, T. pruinosus & T. winnemanna are both most active in the evening/dusk 'til shortly after sunset, with occasional light chorus activity at sporadic times during the day.

Although the song of T. latifasciatus is very similar to that of T. pruinosus & T. winnemanna, it is considered by many to be a bit more "pitchy" or "squawky" - some have even described the call of latifasciatus as sounding "almost inverse" to that of the other two. Audal studies and comparisons suggest the call similarities among the three taxa are great (~same) but can be subject to variation based on geography and ambient environmental conditions (i.e. temp, humidity, etc.). But on a final note, there is still something to be said for the human ear and our own abilities to recognize and differentiate subtle variations in sound.

YOUTUBE Videos & Sound Files for T. latifasciatus

YOUTUBE Video & Sound File for T. winnemanna

YOUTUBE Videos & Sound Files for T. pruinosus
The following example demonstrates the extreme pruinnosity seen in some populations of pruinosus and how they can be similar in appearance to latifasciatus.
Additional sound file of T pruinosus in Kansas
Range
T. latifasciatus is coastal in distribution with spotty collection records from southern New Jersey (type material) south along the Atlantic coast into central Florida.

The "Coastal Scissor Grinder" is recorded from coastal habitats across se. NJ, DE, VA (Delmarva Peninsula - incl. DE, MD, & VA), NC, ne. SC, & c. FL. Given the distribution pattern and host affiliation (Juniperus), it is possible this taxon may occur in spotty localities along the remaining South Carolina & Georgia coasts; however, no specimens have been located to confirm.

Peninsular Florida
T. latifasciatus occurs in central Florida; however, is most common along the Highland Ridge (Ocala) and west-central part of the state. Greatest concentrations can be found within a few miles of the Gulf coast (incl. w. Marion, Levy & Citrus Counties .... south??). Audal records suggest this species may be found along the Atlantic coast of c. FL running north as well, but no specimens have been located to verify the identity of the source calls. Records of T. pruinosus from peninsular Florida are likely based on T. latifasciatus,...as the calls of these cicadas are virtually identical.

North Florida & FL Panhandle
Given the vegetative patterns, habitat and observed calling times in and along the Georgia border of n. FL and FL Panhandle (i.e. late afternoon & evening), "pruinosus-like" calls probably belong to the related taxon "winnemanna", Tibicen winnemanna (Davis 1912) [syn. T. pruinosa winnemanna],"Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada". The few specimens reviewed from s. GA & s. AL were inconsistent with the taxon T. latifasciatus and were most similar in appearance to winnemanna-pruinosus.
Habitat
Sandy soils of the Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plains - Rarely more than a few miles from the coast.

The healthiest populations are associated with the cedar glades occurring in the maritime & dune forests.
Season
June-December (Peninsular Florida)
June-October (Coastal North Carolina)
June-September (Atlantic coast - NC, VA, DE, Delmarva, & NJ)
Food
Typically associated with coastal/southern red cedar, Atlantic white cedar, cypress and adjacent hardwoods. While many cicadas seem to be host "non-specific", others seem to show extreme preference. Adults of Tibicen latifasciatus can be found among other trees, but they are rarely found far from natural groves of southern red cedars & related trees. Interestingly, if you wish to collect this species, it is easiest to scope out cedar trees and search for the nymphs emerging at night. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between this insect and its "preferred host" (per. observations).

HOST: Southern/Eastern Red Cedar
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Juniperus
Species: J. silicicola (syn. J. virginiana var. silicicola)

HOST: Atlantic White Cedars
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Chamaecyparis
Species: C. thyoides

Other hosts preferred by T. latifasciatus may include:
Juniperus spp., "Cedars"
Cupressus spp., Cypress
Cupressocyparis spp., Leyland Cypress
Various related cultivars & ornamentals used in coastal landscapes (per. observations)
Life Cycle
eggs laid in twigs and/or bark - often within a few feet of the ground (Per. observation).

Females seem to oviposit early in the day, often before noon and can be found among the lower branches of cedars. They will also oviposit in the bark of the main trunk at various heights (per. observ.).

eggs hatch and nymphs fall to the ground
Nymphs burrow in to the ground and feed on the sap in tree roots
After several years, the mature nymphs surface, climb and the adults emerge
Remarks
Guide based on comments on images and e-mails by Bill Reynolds.

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NOTE: Species seems abundant in the webs of Nephila clavipes, an important predator of this and other cicadas.
See Also
"Green Tibicen Species"
Collectively, yet informally, referred to as the "Green Tibicen species" (per. comm.), the following cicadas are often difficult to differentiate and all appear to be very closely related. Genitalic analysis of the males suggest these species are very closely related and morphological differences between and among the species are slight. It is also thought (based on observations) that several of these may be involved in complex hybrid zones; however, more work is needed to substantiate and better understand these observations.
Tibicen pruinosus pruinosus var. fulvus Beamer 1924 [syn. T. pruinosa var. fulva], "Pale Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada"

"Southern Dog-day Cicadas"
Loosely & informally referred to as the "Southern Dog-day Cicadas" (suggested - Reynolds 2010), the following taxa are mostly "southern" in distribution and appear to be closely related. These cicadas share several traits, incl. elongated opercula in the males, rapid trill and/or clicking calls, and unusually wide heads relative to body dimension (head widths usu. exceed thoracic widths).
(*appears to be the most divergent member within this group - ??)
Print References
Sanborn, A.F. 1999. Cicada (Homoptera: Cicadoidea) Type Material in the Collections of the American Museum of Natural History, California Academy of Sciences,... Florida Entomologist (vol. 82, no. 1) (text version)
Davis, W.T. 1915. Notes on some cicadas from the eastern and central United States with a description of a new variety of Cicada pruinosa. Jour. New York Entomol. Soc. 23: 1-10 (original description).