Thursday, August 11, 2011

Coastal Lyric Cicada

Large view

Tibicen lyricen virescens, a subspecies of the Lyric Cicada. This one was hanging out by the entrance to my auto mechanic in late morning.

According to Bugguide, "These cicadas are native to the Florida peninsula ranging northward along the Atlantic coast - at least into North Carolina."

Large view

I first photographed this subspecies at night, almost exactly two years ago (side, top, and front shots). Winged adults emerge both night and day, but the adults feed on the sap of fruit trees, hickories, and sweetgum during the day.

Large view

According to the University of Florida, the Lyric is one of 19 known cicada species in the state. Click here to hear its song.

"Even though Florida species emerge as adults annually, their life cycles surely require more than one year," according to UF. "In fact, the larger woodland species (Tibicen spp.) seem likely to require many years (at least a decade?), though no one has yet determined exactly how long the nymphs of any species of Tibicen remain underground."

Large view

Cicadas have also been used as a food source, UF continues, and "are even credited with having saved some family groups from starvation early in the history of North America."

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