Unlike most specimens encountered across much of the Tibicen tibicen range, these cicadas are often characterized by more coloration and pattern. There is a tendency for the insects from this region to exhibit strong green mottling of the pronotal collar and bright reds and greens on the mesonotum; these differences often lead to erroneous identification of specimens in collections and in images.
collar often black (may be marked with green or solid green in some populations); pronotal shoulder patches large, solid green; mesonotum
largely black (mesonotum may be patterned with green and reddish brown in some populations, particularly those from lower elevations and across the deep south); conspicuous dorsolateral white spot where abdomen
; abdomen beneath with midline only slightly darker than rest, sometimes only at base of each sternite
Reported to call from 8-11 a.m., with a "rising crescendo" call lasting about eight seconds. (See: Cicada Info
For details differentiating T. tibicen (chloromerus) from T. lyricen, please refer to the "Remarks" section below.
Swamp Cicadas with "anomalous traits" often occur in a fine band through central Georgia just north of Savannah nw. to Macon continuing west to AL and following the Chatahoochee drainage south into the Florida Panhandle. These populations occupy and often define the interface or transition zone between the subspecies australis and tibicen nominate. They often possess characteristics similar to both forms and at times even exhibit unique traits typically not seen in either tibicen nominate or ssp. australis. The patterns are usually "clean"/defined, colors bright and eyes bright green in color (often unusually light).
Typical southeastern woodlands, often associated with but not limited to, river systems.
As for Tibicen tibicen and australis
Often confused with other Tibicen species including Tibicen lyricen, Tibicen pruinosus or T. linnei.
MOST FREQUENTLY CONFUSED: Tibicen lyricen and Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) are often confused with one another. It is not an uncommon mistake to mis id. these two species since both are subject to regional and individual variability - hence frequently confused.
Pronotal and mesonotal patterns are variable in both Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus) and in T. lyricen; however, living or freshly dead chloromerus specimens have distinctly green pronotal patches in both the teneral and sclerotized states. Additionally, the green patches are usually better defined in T. tibicen than in lyricen.
Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus)
1) Greater development of the paired pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen
(less developed in T. lyricen)
2) Bright mint-green legs (occasionally with light brown at the terminal ends of the tibia/tarsi)
3) The green in the pronotum of these cicadas is a clean bright "leaf green" in both the teneral and sclerotized forms (excluding ssp. australis which is typically very dark green)
4) The pronotal collar is often black but may have green intrusion or even green in some individuals/populations
5) Although some Swamp Cicadas may have dark eyes (usu. very dark green), the vast majority of T. tibicen specimens have distinct greenish hues when alive/fresh
6) Venter of abdomen with No dark stripe (lacks the black pigmentation as seen in lyricen)
7) Males have elongated opercula (yellowish-green in color)
Ventral aspect is basically the same in both subspecies (ssp. australis & ssp. tibicen). The opercula of T. australis may be slightly longer (?)
Tibicen lyricen, Lyric Cicada
T. lyricen may strongly resemble T. tibicen, however, note the following traits.
1) Less development of the paired pruinose spots at the base of the abdomen
(esp. in females of lyricen; males usu. possess the paired spots but they are smaller by comparison than those seen in males of T. tibicen ... always large and better developed in both genders of T. tibicen)
2) Dark brown/reddish-brown legs (occasionally with hints of green - tenerals may have green legs!!)
3) The green in the pronotum of these cicadas is typically not as clean or "leaf green" as in Tibicen tibicen (exception in ssp. virescens)
4) BLACK Pronotal collar (rarely with brown intrusion) is well developed in both genders and in all subspecies and color variants
5) Dark eyes: when alive/fresh, T. lyricen has dark black/brown eyes (rarely with dark greenish black hues when teneral)
6) Ventral black stripe on venter of abdomen is well developed in both genders and in all subspecies and color variants
7) Males of this species have oblique opercula (reddish-tan in color)
Tibicen tibicen ssp. tibicen
Often confused with the following:
"Swamp Cicadas"/"The chloromerus Group"
"Swamp Cicada" or "Morning cicada"
"Southern Dusky-winged cicada" or "Southern Swamp Cicada"
"Lyric Cicadas"/"The lyricen Group"
*Tibicen bermudianus [T. bermudiana (Verrill 1902)], "Bermuda Cicada"- EXTINCT
(*Most closely related to T. lyricen, this cicada was endemic to the Bermuda Islands. Sadly, this cicada is now EXTINCT due to habitat and host plant loss. Unfortunately, disease threats to the host plant, Bermuda cedar, Juniperus bermudiana continue to threaten its existence as well.)