Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica (Say)

Sanborn, Allen F., Phillips, Polly K. & Gilllis, Philip, 2008, The Cicadas of Florida (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae), Zootaxa 1916, pp. 1-43: 13-14

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Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica (Say)


Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica (Say)  (Figs. 74, 148–156)

Cicada hieroglyphica Say 1830: 235  . Type locality: unknown. Specimens for original description came from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Syntype specimens are presumably destroyed.

Cicada characterea Germar 1830: 40  .

The Neocicada  species are some of the first cicadas to become active during the year. They first emerge in mid-April and can be heard singing until early October. The most common collection dates are in June and July.

Species of the genus are found associated with various species of oak ( Quercus  spp.) ( Sanborn et al. 2005). Van Duzee (1909) reported them abundant on low oak bushes and was unable to locate specimens in pine woodlands in Florida. Beamer (1928) associated N. hieroglyphica  with oaks in sandy soils and observed the species ovipositing in oak. Froeschner (1952) also found the species common on oak. The body coloration makes them particularly difficult to see on their host plants.

The call begins as a series of short sound pulses which increase in amplitude and eventually fuse into a constant tone with peak frequency of about 3.6 kHz that decreases in amplitude as the song ends ( Daniel et al. 1993). The sound is reflected by vegetation making finding a calling male difficult. A sonagram of the call can be found in Elliott and Hershberger (2006). Males call primarily at dawn and dusk but will call sporadically during daylight hours. They are often triggered into calling as thunderstorms darken the sky during the afternoon. They have been observed to call under streetlights on hot summer nights in Gainesville ( Sanborn et al. 2005).

This subspecies is primarily in the panhandle and northern border counties but extends into the peninsula at lower densities than the subspecies. The distribution continues northward to New York, Illinois, and Indiana and westward to Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma ( Sanborn et al., 2005). Beamer (1928) suggested the species is associated with habitats containing sandy soil but the relationship between soil conditions and cicada distribution has not been investigated. The distribution of N. h. hieroglyphica  overlaps the distribution of N. h. johannis  in the panhandle and into the peninsula (Fig. 74), but the former has greater densities in the west and north while the latter is found primarily in the peninsula. Neocicada h. hieroglyphica  is found in all Florida ecoregions but is restricted to the Miami Ridge/Atlantic Coastal Strip in the south. It has been collected in Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties in Florida.














Neocicada hieroglyphica hieroglyphica (Say)

Sanborn, Allen F., Phillips, Polly K. & Gilllis, Philip 2008


Cicada hieroglyphica

Say 1830: 235


Cicada characterea

Germar 1830: 40