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Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - male

Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - Male
Parkwood, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
August 31, 2003
Size: 27 mm body length
Found (freshly) killed on a road in a wooded suburban neighborhood. See comments under this photo regarding uncertain identification:

Body length: 36 mm to wingtips, body length 27 mm, measured in place by photographing adjacent to a scale. (Original statement of 24 mm for body length was in error.)

Images of this individual: tag all
Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - male Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - male

Tibicen robinsonianus (Male)
This is not an easily obtained cicada. Although more common than it may appear to be, it is a canopy species and rarely taken at lights. It is also frequently over looked or dissmissed as T. linnei or T. canicularis.

To my knowledge, T. canicularis has not yet been confirmed to occur in NC; thus far it hasn't come across my desk,..not dismissing it, or stating that it does not occur here in NC, I can only claim to have not yet convincingly seen it. I do know that it is rare in Virginia and recorded soley from Appalachia in that state (early 1900's).

In contrast, T. robinsonianus is a more southernly species and frequents the hill country (such haunts as the Piedmont and Cumberland Plateaus of the east and the Ozarks in the west). No doubt it alo occurs in a number of other diverse habitats as it is claimed to be heard rather widely - hinting a greater distribution than I have observed. There are reports/confirmations from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. I am less familiar with more northern records.

In support of this id, I used my experience here in NC, a handful of specimens, and the 1922 original description of T. robinsonianus by Davis.

Note that this cicada has generous amounts of black pigmentation, both dorsally and ventrally, in quantities sufficient to be suggestive of that species (T. robinsonianus); it has a sharply delineated, shiny black, ventral stripe along the midline descriptive of T. robinsonianus (and T. linnei). The dorsal aspect of the abdomen is also a glossy black,..again characteristic of T. linnei and it's "sister sp." T. robinsonianus,... therefore, I lean towards T. robinsonianus as the most likely id.

Refer to Davis' 1922-23 paper from the Journal of the New York Entomological So[1] (pp.36-52)

i think this species is very
i think this species is very patchy like maggicicadas. so far the northmost record i have seen on here is mine in litchfeild IL but i bet they go farther north along the MO river in northern IL and MO near hills and conifers? i find this species easy to ID from everything but T.linnei. the females on the other hand are very hard to ID. i think the ventrel band is also wider/darker than that of T.linnei esp in the midwest

The females of T. robinsonianus possess distinct paired pruinose spots which are "dash-shaped", while females of linnei and canicularis are characterized by no pruinose spots or trace at best.

Females of T. pruinosus usually have large paired spots that are often round or triangular.

most of the chicago female.Li
most of the chicago female.Linnei had very small spots but all of them had them but were very small. i am waiting a few days to look at theese robinsoniaus after they fully harden. it takes about 5 days before they can call i think

linnei Females from Chicago
Those pruinose spots I saw on T. linnei specimens you collected from Chicago, IL qualify under "trace/very reduced" and were certainly less developed than the spots observed on any females of robinsonianus I have seen thus far.

As we have discussed on many occasions, geographic variations and potential hybrid traits may augment some of these observed characters.

Moved from Dog-day Cicada.
Bill Reynolds, of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, e-mailed me stating he was certain this was Tibicen robinsonianus and not Tibicen canicularis. Certainly this is a tough one to ID!

Moved from Tibicen.

Beautiful specimen
I wonder if this influenced the US Army on camouflage designs? The pattern is remarkably similar (and I'll bet the cicada had it long before us humans).

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