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Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen

Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen
Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA
July 28, 2011

Images of this individual: tag all
Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada - Neotibicen tibicen

Moved from Swamp Cicada.

Moved from Cicadas.

Swamp Cicada
Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) - transitional populations between ssp. australis and ssp. tibicen.

These "hybrids"/"transitionals" are often very different looking, with unique characteristics - like the very strange light green eyes, green intrusion into the pronotal collar and strongly patterned and colorful bodies.

Cicadas like this can be found in an arc from nc. Georgia west across the Peidmont Fall-line Hills of c. Alabama.

If you don't mind me asking -
What in particular makes you say T. tibicen over T. linnei? Is it the angle on the leading edge of the wing? Thanks for the help!

by the way.....
This is a nice series of images of a beautiful representative of this taxon ;)

One of the nicest i have seen!


Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) ssp. australis & misc. intergrades (Southern and Coastal populations)

This species is potentially one of the most difficult species (subspecies) for many people to identify based on using picture guides, keys and/or descriptions.

The extreme southern race (australis) and some of the color forms across other parts of the South often defy the description of the typical nominate race, Tibicen tibicen ssp tibicen, most often pictured in books and on-line (classic text book "Swamp Cicada").

ssp. australis

ssp. tibicen (chloromerus)


The "Southern Swamp Cicada" or "Southern Dusky Winged Cicada", Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) ssp. australis and various intergrades are frequently misidentified because they are much more colorful and patterned than is the nominate race. These insects may also have eye color varying from very dark to very strangely pale green.

Additionally, since this race and associated marginal populations usually lack the black pronotal collar typical of the nominate race, Tibicen tibicen var./ssp. tibicen, they are often mistaken for pruinosus and/or linnei.

The transition zone from ssp. australis to ssp. tibicen is somewhere along the Georgia-Alabama line along the Chatahoochee/Apalachicola River drainage to the west and to the north across central Georgia (~Columbus to Macon east to Savannah and marginal areas several miles to the north).


Various color forms and races of this species are also often confused with T. lyricen which always has a black/dark pronotal collar - compare with T. lyricen ssp. virescens.

Thanks Bill
I'm not sure if this individual was recently deceased or about there, but it didn't move while I took the pictures. That certainly helped the quality of the images. I like to leave things the way they are when I can, so I didn't disturb it since I figured I could get an ID from pictures obtained without moving it.

You definitely have been dedicated to the study of cicadas. Yes, I certainly see that the green eyes rule out linnei. I'm starting to see the overall structural difference as well. Overall wing shape and position seem a good bit different the more I look at images too. With such variation in coloration, I'm having difficulty picking up on particular coloration differences though. The only thing I really have noticed is that linnei has an all green collar. Of course, there's always the caveat that it's dangerous to take too much away from images as opposed to field experience.

Images can be difficult....
Cicadas are not always easy to id due to geography and taxonomic ambiguities.

It's also hard to qualify colors and various shades or tones.

The ones that get me are Okanagana species to the north and west and some of the linnei-pruinosus-canicularis "geographic forms/ecotypes" & probable hybrids :)

If you come across any dead cicadas and don't mind hanging onto them, I'd be very interested in examples from your area.


Why not linnei .... Several things...
Body shape, pattern, coloration, eye color, wing structure, + a long time familiarity with cicada species and their various "ecophenotypes" across the Southeast.

NOTE: Wing structure is not an absolute for linnei or for differentiating similar species (i.e. pruinosus, winnemana, and canicularis may have varying degrees of costal bowing and linnei populations - partic. c. FL may lack this character.).

Tibicen linnei populations, as occur across the South, exhibit dark brown to black eye coloration (however, there are pic's of said "linnei" on-line from other parts of the range with lighter eyes).

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