Tibicen tibicen's New Northern Range
News Category: Cicada Missions
Tibicen tibicen's New Northern Range
Update 3/21/11: The species name formerly known as Tibicen chloromera has been changed to Tibicen tibicen. The article has been edited to reflect this change.
I just wanted to let you all know that my trip to Connecticut was very fruitful. I was able to get within 7 miles of the Massachusetts border before I could no longer hear Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen. However, it was a really cool day today even in Connecticut and it took a while for Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen to start singing. So some of the places I didn't hear it may actually have them so yet another trip is planned for this Monday August 22. Below is a breakdown of where I went and where Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen was heard:
All areas are west of the Connecticut River; I couldn't hear any calling on the eastern side. But that may change when I go back next week and conditions are favorable.
Town: Poquonock - Rte 75 South
Location: Strawberry Hills Area.
Notes: Right along North Side of Farmington River very close to Bradley International. The Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen were very slow to get going sounded almost sluggish.
From Strawberry Hills Area, crossed to South Side of Farmington River and continued South on Rt 75.
Town: Windsor - Rt 75 North
Location: Elm Grove Cemetery 10:36 am -
Notes: This place had a huge population though I suppose the day was warming up.
Town: Windsor - Reservoir Rd.
Location: Camp Shalom
Notes: From Elm Grove Cemetery, turned around and went North on Rt 75. Took left onto Reservoir Road heading west. This road winds along Rainbow Reservoir. Stopped at Camp Shalome heard T. lyricen, T. canicularis and Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen
Town: East Granby - Reservoir Rd/187 North
Location: Package store on Resevoir Road
Notes: From Camp Shalom, turned around and continued east along Reservoir Rd to route 187 at the eastern border of East Granby and Windsor. Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen here too. Stopped at a package store to get directions. I decided to not head further west into East Granby because I wanted to find the northern-most range before time ran out.
Town: Windsor Locks - Rte 159 North
Location: Windsor Locks Train Station 11:46 am
Notes: Heard several male Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen calling in bushes along train tracks at train station. Windsor Locks is approximately 6 - 7 miles from the southern Massachusetts border.
The next town I visited was Suffield. This town seemed to be teeming with T. lyricen, T. canicularis and T. linnei but NO Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen. Suffield is about 4 miles from southern Mass border.
All these areas were along the Connecticut Rivers's western side. I then went over to the eastern side into Hazardville along route 190 but heard nothing but it was about 12:15 pm so Tibicen chloromera Tibicen tibicen may have just shut off. But who knows, maybe the cicadas are scared to cross the river?
I Hate My Tools!!
So I got one of those digital cameras that can also take moves and sounds. But man I'm getting tired of it. I managed to record the calling song of one of the male T. chloromeras T. tibicenat Elk Grove Cemetery. Unfortunately, you STILL may have to turn up the sound on your speakers to hear it. This doesn't make any sense as I was standing like 4 feet in front of it.
Hopefully some day I will be able to afford something fancier like the "big boys" use.
T. tibicen calling song.
A Large Female T. canicularis Found In Sturbridge, Ma.
I ran across this small cemetery right on the eastern side of route 20 on my way home. Since I like to check cemeteries for cicada activity I figured this was a good place to break for lunch.
I found many exuvia and since I recently learned to tell the difference between male and female cicada skins I decided to start to count females vs males emergences.
It seems that I have been noticing a trend. At the beginning of a Cicada season, more males seem to emerge than females at a ratio of about 5 to 1 then during the middle of the season, it is about even. Towards the end of the season, the ratios seem to switch and more females emerge than males. Well, I don't have any hard data to back up this claim, starting next year, I will have to take careful notes of all the exuvia that I examine.
I did manage to find a Tibicen canicularis female on the ground at the base of a pine tree. At first I thought that perhaps it had oviposited (laid its eggs) then died. But when I picked it up, it started fluttering and flapping like cicadas do then it attempted to play dead which is a behavior that I have noted many times with Cicadas.
What makes this specimen unusual is its rather large size. It is 45mm long including the wings with a 38mm wing length which puts it at the maximum end for wing length in a Tibicen canicularis. At first I thought it may be a Tibicen linnei (Lynn's Cicada) but that species is known to have a slight "bend" along the outer edge of the front fore wings which this one does not so I will have to conclude that it is Tibicen canicularis.
The size is another way that you can get confused as to the identity of cicadas. Not only are there slight variations in color but size can also be a factor. I can only speculate that the size variations may be due to good or bad nutritional intake during its long developmental period under ground. Maybe the tree that was its host was doing poorly or maybe too much competition for food which may result in some cicadas being under or over-developed. Another factor could be the use of fertilizers and pesticides as well.
Anyway, enjoy the pictures below. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.