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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
Found in daytime clinging to a wall next to a lighted breezeway. Another problematic Tibicen.

Scale in mm, now shown in photo. Length 54 mm (to tip of wings). Body length 34 mm. Mesuring the wings on the image, and applying a ratio based on the 54 mm total length, the forewing length is 44 mm.

Images of this individual: tag all
Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female Cicada - Neotibicen linnei - female

Tibicen sp. (best fit = 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.) + they cross!

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. - incl. morphology and calls!).

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)
+ davis clearly states teh wing morphology of winnemana is "as seen in linnei"
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 belongs 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 place this series back under linnei since more recent comparisons and additional females of winnemana have become available (noting there is a significant overlap dorsally!).


My pencils still have erasers and my keyboard a backspace button ;)

Moved from Tibicen winnemana.

Moved from Linne's cicada.

In support of T. winnemana
Brownish maculations dorsally (winnemana character!) and slightly less black on the mesonotum than seen in most linnei - though use of color to id a cicada can be walking thin ice.

to me it fits T. linnei! taki
to me it fits T. linnei! taking the shape and the small pruinos spots i think winomana would be more bulky and have more green on the mesatome sides

Tibicen winnemana, Eastern Scissor Grinder (?)
The dorsum does at least have slight indication of 2 dorsal pruinose spots typical of members of the pruinosus group (apparent in male T. linnei, but rare in females of T. linnei) - Unfortunately they are significantly reduced and may be absent in females of the Eastern Scissor Grinder, T. winnemana, as well.

Definately a female.
You can tell male and female cicadas apart by the shape of the tip of the abdomen that houses the genitalia. In females the tip (which contains the ovipositor) comes almost to a "point" whereas in the male, it's more "blunt" - for lack of a better word.

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