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Two T. lyricens Captured Today!

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Two T. lyricens Captured Today!

Tibicen lyricen on Martha's Vineyard

I was getting pretty discouraged. I thought that I would be doing a lot better than I have been doing as far as obtaining cicada specimens up to this point. Time is becoming a factor. I'll be leaving on the 14th which is just two days away.

So far I had only managed to obtain a T. canicularis female during the eclose process in the state forest. But things did change for me today, significantly!

I found yet another wildlife refuge area run by the Land Bank. This area was known as Peaked Hill Reservation. This is the highest point on the island when you reach the top of the hill. You're a wopping 311 feet above sea-level!

On the road to this wildlife refuge there were a lot of scrub oak so I decided to pull off because there were a lot of T. lyricen calling in the trees. I wanted to get some practice with my net in trying to catch a specimen. I figured I'd practice on the T. lyricen in order to get good at the opportunity of catching a T. auletes.

I didn't really need my net when I caught the first specimen. I noticed it was calling from ground level. I was unable to see it but I knew it was there so I watched and waited. Sure enough I could see it walking around in the undergrowth so I caught it with my hands.

T. lyricen alarm squawk. Martha's VineyardWhen I caught it, it gave off the usual loud alarm squawk. Upon closer inspection, I could see that half of one of it's forewings was missing. It apparently got torn off somewhere along the way. No doubt by a predator. Click the thumbnail to the right to listen to this male specimen's alarm squawk.

This specimen seemed unusual to me. T. lyricens are mainly brown, green and black. Well this specimen contained mostly green and black coloring. There is a spattering of the lightest hint of brown on the mesonotum, but there really isn't all that much. Still, I was happy with catching a specimen on Martha's Vineyard, and a really unusual specimen at that. Enjoy the pictures of this specimen below.

  • Pic 1 - Dorsal view - note the green coloring. T. lyricens usually have brown AND green.
  • Pic 2 - Lateral view.
  • Pic 3 - Closeup of mesonotum and head.
  • Pic 4 - Ventral view, note the ripped wing.
  • Pic 5 - Closeup of head ventraly.
  • Pic 6 - Closeup of head dorsaly.

A Second T. lyricen Specimen Captured!

Martha's Vineyard Scenic ViewI decided to walk to the top of Peaked Hills to get to the highest point on Martha's Vineyard, a whole 311 feet above sea level. There were some really nice views once I was up here. I could see the ocean way in the background with a down slope all the way to the coast. Very nice. I surely do recommend this view! If you're ever on Martha's Vineyard you should go directly to this spot. Just remember, Peaked Hills Wildlife Reservation.

At the very top of the hill, the scrub oaks seemed to be the shortest and it looked to me that you could walk around a bunch of them because the undergrowth wasn't that bad. After several attempts to sweep net a male T. lyricen, I finally managed to bag one in the oddest fashion.

T. lyricen alarm squawk.I have already noted last year that male T. lyricens like to walk around a branch they are currently on, all the while calling and calling for a mate. I positioned my net directly over the T. lyricen while it was calling and it absently crawled onto the mesh of the net (it was about 12 feet up at the time). I gently lowered the net to my level while it was calling all-the-while totally oblivious to what was happening. I should've taken advantage of the situation and got a recording for the record but I was too stunned to believe that this T. lyricen didn't know what was going on so I just grabbed it! Hence, that is how I captured this second T. lyricen specimen for the day. Click the thumbnail to the right above to listen to this specimen's alarm squawk. By the time I got my camera out it was pretty much calmed down. Still a nice shot of some wing flutter though.

Here are some nice images of this specimen below. This is the standard coloring for T. lyricen.

  • Pic 1 - Dorsal view. Standard coloration on T. lyricen.
  • Pic 2 - Lateral view.
  • Pic 3 - Head shot closeup ventral view.
  • Pic 4 - Head shot dorsal view.
  • Pic 5 - Closeup of head dorsal view.
  • Pic 6 - Side-by-side comparision of both specimens. Look at the differences. The pronotum on the green specimen on the left has more "bulbous" protrusions at the sides and is narrower than the specimen on the right. Also compare the compound eye stalks. The one on the left is "thicker" than the one on the right with the one on the right having some pubescence. Maybe the one on the left is a sub-species?

Below is a side-by-side comparison of both specimens on the dorsal view. Note the signficant differences between the two. Click the image below.

Side-by-side comparisons.Well, that basically did it for the highlights of today. I went to other areas but as you can guess I did not have much success. I did manage to hike on private property as well as public areas. I tried to net several T. auletes but was unsuccessful. It was unfortunate too because this area was ideal. Many short scrub oak trees but the fact that the road I was on was a private road made me nervous for being there.

Tomorrow will be my last full day to try for T. auletes. If I don't get one then than my exuvia and recording evidence will be the only proof I have. I'd sure like to get a live specimen!

Date Posted: 2006-08-12 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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