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Robinson's Annual Cicada (Neotibicen robinsonianus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Robinson's Annual Cicada.

 Updated: 8/24/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Robinson's Annual Cicada can be seen every year, ensuring the sounds of summer and shells of early life are around for humans to enjoy.



Annual Cicadas are around yearly, unlike some other species in the Periodical Cicada group, which are known for their huge swarms every 13 or 17 years. Robinson's Annual Cicadas have a more balanced generational presence. For all the adults seen and heard, there are staggered generations of young hiding underground.

Males will call, or sing, to attract females. A chorus of them creates an iconic whistling/chirping noise only heard in the summertime. This loud singing also attracts predators. Life spans of adults are only a few weeks, so reproduction is the top priority; adults do not eat. After mating, females lay fertilized eggs on leaves. Eggs hatch and the tiny, white ant-like nymphs make their way to the ground where they'll crawl underground and drink from tree roots. They stay underground for years, feeding and growing. As they develop , they molt, shedding their exoskeleton and leave behind brown shells of their former, smaller selves. They eventually move above ground, usually onto the nearest tree or shrub. Their final molt develops wings and adult immediately begin the search for a mate. Every year, nymphs that have finished their time underground rise to the surface to provide young cicadas that will emerge as adults two or three years later.

Cicadas are harmless to people: they do not bite and do not have stingers. They are somewhat slow, clumsy fliers. They can be found anywhere there are trees and shrubs. Brown, crunchy shells are often attached to window screens, tree trunks, wooden posts and even tall grass. These casings are often mistaken for a live cicada. Upon molting, the cicada is somewhat neon green and light tan in color. As it ages, its coloring darkens to black and green.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Cicadidae
          Genus: Neotibicen
            Species: robinsonianus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Neotibicen robinsonianus
Category: Cicada and Planthopper
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 35mm (1.17in to 1.37in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, green, brown
Descriptors: plump, loud, fat, buzzing, flying, eyes, hammerhead, shells, harmless
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.