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Tibicen lyricen virescens  - Neotibicen lyricen

Tibicen lyricen virescens - Neotibicen lyricen
Marion, Citrus, Levy County, Florida, USA
Collected and photographed by Bill Reynolds, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
Tibicen lyricen virescens (T. virescens), Coastal Lyric Cicada: Central FL (Marion, Citrus and Levy Counties)
These cicadas are native to the Florida peninsula ranging northward along the Atlantic coast - at least into North Carolina. Documentation beyond the Carolinas is sketchy; additional surveys may yield a more northern distribution and blend zones with nominate lyricen.

Tibicen lyricen virescens
An unfortunate reality of preserved cicada specimens is that they loose much of the bright coloration seen in living or fresh examples. This loss of coloration alone makes comparisons between cicadas in reference collections and living/fresh specimens in photographs difficult. Often times relying on color when comparing images of living material to collected material can be misleading, many factors other than color must be considered as well.

Although these specimens have weathered well, they are not nearly as impressive as they once were. There are few North American cicadas as colorful as a living or fresh specimen of Tibicen lyricen virescens.

Tibicen tibicen?
How can one differentiate T. lyricen virescens from T. tibicen (=chloromerus)?

Tibicen lyricen (virescens) vs. Tibicen tibicen (australis)
It's somewhat complicated since both species possess significant variability both individually and geographically. For me, with regards to the Floridian populations, it's a combination of familiarity with the taxa and use of some basic key characters which readily distinguish them. It's also important to mention, there are exceptions, and that's where familiarity - difficult to qualify or quantify - plays a role.

Tibicen lyricen ssp. virescens dominates much of the Florida peninsula and by most accounts, is perhaps the most frequently encountered Tibicen species. It is abundant during the late spring through summer (late April-early Sept). In central Florida, this species is considerably more common and widespread (across habitat types) than is T. tibicen ssp. australis.

T. lyricen virescens can be characterized as follows:
1) Possesses a well developed and uninterupted black pronotal collar (rarely with intrusion of dark brown)
2) Well developed ventral black abdominal stripe
3) BROWN legs
4) More vivid coloration on the mesonotum = bright leaf greens, blue-greens (teals & aquas), and the fulvous patches are a richer reddish/rust color
5) Less development of the paired pruinose (white) spots at the base of the abdomen
6) Short oblique opercula (rusty-tan in color)
7) less pruinose venter
8) Somewhat more elongated and sleek in appearance

Tibicen lyricen ssp. virescens


Although Tibicen tibicen (=chloromera) ssp. australis (Tibicen australis) does occur in central Florida, it is considerably less common and somewhat different in appearance from T. lyricen ssp. virescens. Additionally, it is much more common along water ways and lowland areas. It is very similar in overall appearance and form to other populations in the Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) group - with a few unique characters separating it.

T. tibicen australis can be characterized as follows:
1) Usu. lacks the black pronotal collar (dull olive green with possible black intrusion)
2) Always lacks the ventral black abdominal stripe
3) Green legs
4) More subdued coloration = leaf greens, olive greens and darker fulvous patches (rarely the aquas & rusts seen in virescens)
5) Greater development of the paired pruinose (white) spots at the base of the abdomen
6) Longer opercula (ochreous-yellowish green in color)
7) very pruinose venter
8) Somewhat more compact and humpbacked in appearance

Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) ssp. australis
Dorsal aspect

Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) ssp. tibicen
Ventral aspect is basically the same in both subspecies. The opercula of T. australis may be slightly longer!

Moved from Lyric Cicada.

Moved from Cicadas.

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