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Some Cicadas from Kansas

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Some Cicadas from Kansas

Kansas Cicadas

Update 3/15/11: The species name of Tibicen walkeri has been officially changed to Tibicen pronotalis. This article has been edited to reflect this change.

This year was an abundant year for cicadas in Kansas. The cicadas were so plentiful that they were easy to capture because they were just sitting on the ground or under street lights and on very low branches of trees.

Kansas cicadasThanks to Joe Tomelleri and his sons who live in Kansas, I received approximately 105 cicadas in August. It took a while to identify, pin and label them however. While some still have me confused as to their identity, I have positively identified at least 95 of them. Click the thumbnail to the right to see a representation of the specimens received.

From left to right in the photo, they are as follows:

  1. Tibicen auletes
  2. Tibicen walkeri pronotalis (Orange)
  3. Tibicen walkeri pronotalis (Green)
  4. Tibicen dorsata
  5. Tibicen pruinosa
  6. Tibicen aurifera

However, there may be two additional species that I will need confirmation on. Those two additional species being Tibicen linnei and Tibicen canicularis. The coloration of Tibicen pruinosa is so similar to that of Tibicen canicularis in the mid-west that it is difficult to tell the two apart. Some of the specimens that I am calling T. pruinosa may in fact be T. canicularis, T. linnei or some other sub-species. I will be keeping the best examples from this collection and will be trading the rest.

Tibicen pronotalis from KansasThe majority of specimens that were obtained were Tibicen pruinosa and Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis. Click the thumbnail to the left for a larger view of the Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis cicadas that I received. I will be adding closeup photos of these specimens to a new page for Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis in the very near future.

Two versions of Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis.

Tibicen pronotalis green varietyTibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis cicadas contain two main color variations green and orange. To the extreme left, they can be orange and to the extreme right, they can be green with matching pronotal collar colors. Since both green and orange varieties of Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis can be found in the same location, you get set up with mating pairs reproducing with the resultant adults being any shade of orange and green in between!

From these Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis that I obtained in Kansas, I have noted green specimens with orange wing veins and orange specimens with green wing veins while others are orange with orange wing veins and still others are green with green wing veins.

T. pronotalis orange varietyIt seems that either type (orange or green) is common. Where these cicadas were collected in Kansas, the orange variety being the more common form. Since there is a mixture of both green and orange varieties, these cicadas may not be what is known as "parapatric" which means that their ranges don't overlap. In fact the mating call of Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis males are virtually the same between the orange version and green version. Upon close examination of the these specimens from Kansas (the orange variety) there do seem to be additional subtle differences.

Pronotums - The pronotums seem to vary in color patterns with some having large black areas and others that have virtually no black at all.

Pruinosity - On the dorsal view, there does seem to be some slight pruinosity on the abdomens while some contain none at all.

Wing veination - Some of the orange varieties have orange wing veins while some are orange with green wing veins and some have a mixture of both orange and green wing veins.

All these variations within Tibicen walkeri Tibicen pronotalis may indicate that there may be some cross-breeding going on between the orange and green varieties.

More Cicada Videos and Sound Files Added

Thanks to Roy Troutman for supplying some good quality sound files of Tibicen pronotalis and Tibicen robinsonianus. Roy can be found posting information from time to on the Entomology-Cicadidae Group and Cicadamania. These sound files can also be found in the Cicada Calling Songs section under the videos tabof the web site. Massachusetts Cicadas has been accumulating various calling songs and alarm squawks from all types of cicada species here in the United States.

A special thanks also goes out to Kevin Bonnett. Kevin has provided a link to a Tibicen linnei alarm squawk video he shot last year. Be warned though, this T. linnei has been pounced on by a praying mantis in a tree and could not get away and is quite graphic. You can also find the link to this video in the Cicada Behaviors Videos section under the Videos tab of the web site.

New Cicada Gallery Links Added

Also another thanks goes out to Kevin Bonnett who also has several different cicada gallery links. The cicada fans are definately out there and thanks to good search engine optimization, they are finding our web site. You can access Kevin's Cicada Galleries under the Cicada Gallery Web Sites above and to the right. Cicada Gallery 1 is a series of photos of a recently emerged cicada in its teneral form.

Cicada Gallery 2 are still photos of the above mentioned video of the praying mantis eating the Tibicen linnei cicada.

More Reader Submissions Added

Due to my lack of updates, I have accrued 3 additional pages of reader email of sightings of Cicadas and Cicada Killers. Unfortunately, more submissions were received that didn't have pictures so some of these were screened. Some I felt were really important because they asked questions which I thought everyone would like to read and see what the response was.

Keep the submissions coming. Even if there isn't an attached photo, I answer all email questions and inquiries.

Since I have been receiving a lot of email inquiries, I will be configuring an online form which you all can fill out. In this way, I hope to gather additional relevant information which will benefit everyone. Look for an online form to be uploaded during the next update.

Date Posted: 2006-09-02 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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