Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus
Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama, USA
August 1, 1987
Tibicen robinsonianus - Female: Tuscumbia (Hwy 72, Valdosta Community), Colbert Co., Alabama (Aug 1987)
NOTE: This specimen is more than 20 years old and has lost a lot of its original coloration.
Hard to collect and a challenge to identify!...The specimen pictured here is not great, but T. robinsonianus none the less.
This Tibicen species has a very distinctive call and can be heard with some frequency in many parts of the South (I compare the males call to a ratchet or a skippy wind-up toy). Complicating its identification, this species is similar in appearance and often confused with T. pruinosus, T. linnei and T. canicularis (to the north).
I have observed this species to be most common in areas of little development or older established neighborhoods with mature trees,..particularly those adjacent to water (Rivers, Lakes, Creeks, etc.). T. robinsonianus is a canopy species and calls from high up in the trees. The forests frequented by this cicada would best be described as mixed hardwood-pine (most abundant/active during the months of June-July).
NOTE: The hair-line black mark that bisects the pronotal collar (typically this trait is not seen in linnei, canicularis, winnemana or pruinosus!)
Features of T. robinsonianus females that may be handy for identification and separation from similar species here in the South are as follows:
robinsonianus vs. linnei:
Although females of T. linnei do have a well defined ventral black stripe, they usually lack the pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen, and if present, these spots are very poorly developed. Additionally, T. linnei females seemingly have longer wings and more distinctly "bowed" costae (Costal Veins).
robonsonianus vs. pruinosus:
Unlike pruinosus, females of robinsonianus I have studied possess a well defined ventral black stripe and slightly less developed pruinose spots.
robinsonianus vs. winnemana:
Females of T. winnemana typically have tan maculations on the abdomen, lack the ventral black abdominal stripe, and usually lack the pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen.