Explanation of Names
Author of the species - Smith and Grossbeck 1907 (Cicada)
Tibicen similaris - General description
1) Legs: brownish - occasionally with light green at the joints and dark brown along the terminal ends of the tibia/tarsi
2) Pruinosity: pruinose venter (not heavily pruinose - similar to that seen in several related taxa); paired pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen in both genders (this trait is varaible)
3) Body Coloration: Typically brownish in appearance with some taupe or drab olive-green (The green in these cicadas is a dull "olive green" in sclerotized forms. In contrast, tenerals are usually pinkish-tan with slight indications of "mint green" or "aqua".)
4) The pronotal collar is often black but may have olive green intrusion or may even be greenish in some individuals/populations
5) Although these Cicadas usually have dark eyes some may exhibit lighter grey or brownish eyes.
6) Venter of abdomen with reduced dark stripe (lacks much of the black pigmentation as seen in lyricen)
7) Males have elongated opercula (may be yellowish-tan or rusty-tan in color)
Seems to be most common east of the Mississippi River in the following states:
FL, AL, MS, GA, e. SC, e. NC, & se. VA
Reported in several states west of the Miss. River
LA, AR, e. OK (?), & e. TX (?)
Western most distribution (??)
Confirmed from Arkansas & ne. Louisiana
The call of *Tibicen similaris (Smith & Grossbeck 1907), "Similar Cicada" or "Similar Dog-day Cicada"
is similar to that of Tibicen superbus (Fitch 1855), "Superb Dog-day Cicada"
; however, the "clacky-trill" part of the T. similaris
song is much longer in duration than that of T. superbus
, the latter of which is better described as a "rapid clacky-clicking crecendo and fall".
Tibicen similaris is a species that seems to exist with little available information. Perhaps, because these cicadas are very nervous and difficult to collect (most easily collected at lights or as nymphs), they are largely over looked and infrequently collected.
I know of these cicadas to occur in the following areas: n & c Florida, sw. Georgia, e. South Carolina, se. Alabama, ec. Alabama (nc.& nw. AL?), s. Mississippi, and eastern North Carolina.
This species seems most abundant in and to prefer scrub oak and xeric habitats, however may be found in various habitats adjacent to such areas. Although the literature suggests that cicadas are not host specific, this species appears to have an affinity for scrub oaks; their nymphs and casts can be common on and around such trees.
Seems to fit in morphology and call between the Lyric/Swamp Cicada groups and the "Southern Dog-Day Cicadas".
Appears to be most closely related to the following (?):
T. davisi (incl. ssp. harnedi)
Suspected hybrids between T. davisi and T. similaris have been observed in Florida (intermediate features incl. morphology and skewed calls)
Most often confused with Tibicen davisi
"Southern Dog-day Cicadas"
Loosely & informally referred to as the "Southern Dog-day Cicadas" ("coined", Bill Reynolds
), 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 - ??)
"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"