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discolored "virescens" - Neotibicen lyricen
Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, USA
September 16, 2012
Size: 110mm wingspan
I'm certain this is a Tibicen lyricen, but what is up with the color? The marking on the head appears to be missing. In its place, there is a small inverted triangular shape, but it is colorless. Any help at all would be much appreciated.

Sorry for the poor image, my good camera is out.

Images of this individual: tag all
Tibicen lyricen spp. - Neotibicen lyricen Tibicen lyricen spp. - Neotibicen lyricen Tibicen lyricen spp. - Neotibicen lyricen Tibicen lyricen spp. - Neotibicen lyricen discolored

Moved from ID Request.

Tibicen sp. (lyricen virescens)
Based on elimination of other options, I have to agree with you. It's difficult to tell from this image; however, your id. of lyricen is likely.

Regarding this species in peninsular Florida (Polk Co.), T. lyricen virescens would be the form you would encounter. Although T. lyricen lyricen is/has been reported from peninsular Florida, review of specimens (per. observ. & per. comm. with several cicada specialists) indicate these id's are likely based on poorly preserved/discolored "virescens" and/or specimens exhibiting extreme individual variation. Living and freshly dead specimens collected seem to conform to "virescens" with rare exception (i.e. the occasionally duller green individual which may pop up). However, when fresh, these are never as brown as the one you have pictured. Generally speaking, divergent races or subspecies are not sympatric but rather disjunct or parapatric as seen with lyricen.

CLICK for details on the Lyric Cicada, "T. lyricen", and its forms

Unfortunately, cicadas are prone to discoloration, esp. when they begin to decay. Noting the discoloration in the wing veins (usu. blue in FL forms) suggests this individual may have been picked up dead or exposed to environmental extremes (incl. hot surface, frozen or stored "moist"). Preservation methods are best employed when fresh. You want to avoid freezing, heat and chemicals (esp. solvents like alcohol, ethyl acetate, etc.) when collecting cicadas as these conditions will affect the color. I recommend looking for living examples or very freshly dead. You also want to avoid light, high temp's and high humidity when drying cicadas. I usually place them under/near AC vents where the cool dry air helps prevent discoloration as they dry out.

There is also a slight tendency among the Gulf coast (west FL) forms to be darker and slightly less colorful in both T. lyricen virescens and T. tibicen australis. Whether or not this tendency is an artifact of intergradation with the nominate forms in the panhandle is still unclear.

It was indeed frozen, sadly. I recieved it from a neighbor of a family member, and am not entirely certain as to what other conditions it was exposed to. Hopefully I can avoid further damage to the specimen. Thank you very much for the useful information.

I am originally form Ocala and miss collecting a few of the Florida forms. Esp. virescens and latifasciatus...even though they occur here in se. NC, I can't just take a walk and find them.

I would be very interested in your observations & pic's of your cicada specimens. I can also provide you a list of Florida cicada taxa and fairly well delineated ranges within the state if interested.

Contact: bill reynolds

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