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Tibicen linnei (

Tibicen linnei ("Southern/Coastal Form") - Neotibicen linnei - Female
Conway, Horry County, South Carolina, USA
September 15, 2009
Size: approx. 5cm long
while i was photo'ing moths attracted to light, this right handsome critter flew into a rain barrel. i fished it out and put it on the twig in the pic. awhile later it zipped off into the darkness. in a residential 'hood with a fair number of mature hardwoods, approx. 1km from a blackwater cypress swamp. any ID help appreciated!

Moved from Tibicen.

Tibicen linnei ("Southern form") - FEMALE
Tibicen linnei poses a number of taxonomic issues across its range. Here in many parts of the South, the "bowed wing" and "node position" traits may deviate strongly from those used traditionally in identification in other regions. There are also strong tendencies for the males' calls to show "dialects", and from locality to locality the tempo, duration and pitch may show tremendous variation. Although the calls can be affected by temperature in this species, even on the hottest of evenings, the calls vary and do not seem to be based on temp, but rather population dynamics.

I have also noticed that among females (as pictured here) the traditional characters are even less evident, particularly in specimens collected at lower elevations (Horry Co., SC is coastal and well placed in the lowlands!).

1) Dimensions of 2 inches
2) Dark eyes (typical)
3) Bright red mesonotal patches well delineated by black
(separation of the reds from the greens - typical in linnei and rare in T. winnemana)
4) Very bright greens and strongly contrasting coloration and pattern
(T. winnmeman is typically much more subdued in coloration and often possesses brown maculatons on the dorsum of the abdomen.)
5) Glossy black abdomen (more of a flat black in winnemana)
6) Obsolete to nearly absent pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen
(While most female linnei do not exhibit this trait, a fair percentage in some parts of the South may have ever so slight indications.)

For all of these reasons, I am inclined towards T. linnei.

This cicada strongly resembles T. linnei from central Florida. It is interesting that several of the Floridian fauna incl. T. latifasciatus and T. lyricen virescens have distributions along the Atlantic coast northward into the Carolinas. Perhaps T. linnei too has such a population component (more detailed analysis are needed!).

This population is unique from other T. linnei as follows:
1) brighter coloration
2) slightly smaller size
3) slower call of the males
4) poorly "bowed" costal margin (if "bowed" at all!!!)

NOTE: The Tibicen linnei species complex is in need of more study, as there may well be more than one species involved!

Bill, thanks so very much for the detailed ID. so many bugs, so little time... ;)

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