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Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - male

Tibicen robinsonianus - Neotibicen robinsonianus - Male
Parkwood, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
August 31, 2004
Size: 27 mm body length
Ventral view. Found (freshly) killed on a road in a wooded suburban neighborhood. See comments on ID.

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

Tibicen robinsonianus
I requested some second opinions from Kathy Hill and Gerry Bunker, both of whom agreed that this specimen fits the description for T. robinsonianus - and consider this specimen to in fact be T. robinsonianus!

Thanks for takin' such goop pic's Patrick!

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)

how is T.robinsoniaus a siste
how is T.robinsoniaus a sister speceis of T linnei? i would think its closest realative to pruinosus would be T.linnei not robinsoniaus due to the call and extent of hybridization? i heard so many of theese robinsonia its like maggicicadas and not one seemed mixed or hybridized. but the linnei/ pruinosus in this area are the same as centrel IL were the calls range from slow pruinosus to an almost full T.linnei salt shaker. the latter is not commen

Literature discusses similari
Literature discusses similarities between and among these species.

Simply put, all of these species mentioned qualify as sister species.

In the commentary above, robinsonianus is often confused with linnei based on physical characteristics.

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. I double-checked the size from the original photo with a scale, and I'd say it is, more precisely, 27 mm from the front of the head to the tip of the abdomen, but I think that would still put the head width in the range mentioned by Andy Hamilton in his comment below. (Thanks, Andy!)

Tibicen canicularis
Your measurements suggest that the head is only 10 mm wide, which indicates that this is the common dog-day cicada which has the smallest head of our eastern Tibicens with short male opercula (head 11-12.5 mm wide).

A male specimen.
You can see the plate like opercula which cover the male's singing organs known as timbals.