Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

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
Lateral view to show wing shape, completing a series posted previously.

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 (=Tibicen pruinosus winnemana)
This may well be one of the most difficult, but several things strike me concerning this image.

First, the black stripe across the face is slightly interrupted by green along the top margin. Although typical of Tibicen pruinosus complex (Not T. linnei) to have green intrusion into the black stripe ("mask"), there is usually a little more green intrusion than seen here.

Second, The bow in the wing is not quite as defined as I'd like to see in a T. linnei. Again similar to the wing structure of female T. winnemana (T. pruinosus winnemana) - ?

Third, There is reduced black and the definition of the pattern is not so delineated ("lateral reds touch dorsal greens") - again typical of T. winnemana - ?

I'm going with Tibicen pruinosus group for this id.
Tibicen winnemana

Sorry Bill but I have to disagree on this particular specimen. Try this exercise:

1). Note the midline wing vein in the forewing.
2). Draw a straight line following the same angle as the midline wing vein across the length of the forewing and see which cell it bisects on the tip of the wing.
3). If it bisects the last marginal cell then it is T. linnei.

I have tried this exercise on many T. linnei specimens I have on hand and found it to be 100% accurate. I even took the liberty of snagging a few T. linnei images from Bugguide and drew a line then uploaded them to my server for you to compare. Clickhere here and here. As you can see in the three examples (I even used this image in one of my examples)in every instance the yellow line bisects that last marginel cell.

You can have a slight interruption of green in the upper portion of the black stripe but it is the thickness of the stripe that is indicative and in this specimen the intrusion is very little.

Compare the face in this series of images to the face of this confirmed T. linnei in the guide:

As you can see there is a slight intrusion of green along the schlerotized portions.

Lacking a ventral view for this specimen to indicate a black stripe on the abdomen, I think that this is enough to confirm that this is indeed T. linnei

Tibicen linnei
Ok, with this addtional picture and scale on the other image, and using the Michigan Cicadas key, this cicada keys out to be T. linnei. However, I have been instructed to be careful when using this key as there may be subtle regional variations. But the wing shape with the bent costal margin is key for T. linnei and this bend is only indicative of the species.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.