The following picture is not overly well composed or striking. But it does represent a moment I found particularly exciting – my first cicada!
I’ve had the stray thought several times that it seemed unusual to always hear the constant summer whine of cicadas in Florida without ever seeing any. Finally, I spotted one!
It turns out IDing him is an altogether different task. According to the University of Florida’s entymology and nematology department, Florida supports 19 different species of cicada. They categorize species relative to their size as defined by the length of their forewings. The cicada picture above most squarely fits into the larger species. The coloring indicates what I saw was some species in the genus Tibicen (or Neotibicen according to this site). However, it turns out species in this genus can experience quite a bit of color variation.
This graph, also from the UF site might not entirely narrow things down either:
I took my cicada picture on July 28th, which according to the timing of different species in our county, could suggest five different Tibicen species. This summer appearance also gives this genus it’s more common name of dog-day cicadas in reference to the dog-days of summer. So short of some insight from someone more versed in than I am, he will ever after be referred to as Tibicen spp.
Another detail I found surprising is Florida has no periodical species of cicada, which refers to 13 and 17 year cicadas that emerge all at once in some regions of the country. Instead our summer denizens will be present every year.
To listen to some of our local cicada songs, visit the website here.