Tibicen lyricen

Lyric Cicada

Tibicen lyricen, Lyric Cicada

Family: Cicadidae

Subfamily: Cicadinae

Length: typically 50-55 mm


Tibicen cicadas are among the most widespread Cicadas found in the United States and Canada. The bodies are robust and the males calls are loud.

Larvae live underground for 2-3 years where they feed on the xylem of tree roots. Adults emerge in mid to late summer, where they continue to feed on xylem, now on the above-ground part of the plants. With a 2-3 year life cycle, Tibicen cicadas have a greater longevity than most insects, though not nearly as much as their cousins the Periodical Cicadas.

The adult shown in the first two photos on this page was photographed on a pickup trucks tire, the location it had chosen for its final molt. As usual with tenerals, its colors are lighter than they will be later. This individual is the engelhardti variety, a variant that is common in West Virginia and in the Appalachians generally.

Brown legs and dark eyes are among the characteristics of this species. If you can get a look at the underside, there will be a dark ventral stripe.

Tibicen lyricen, Lyric Cicada face



Left: The face of Tibicen lyricen. Another West Virginia species in this genus is Tibicen linnei.

Tibicen lyricen, Lyric Cicada nymph exoskeleton

Tibicen lyricen, subfamily Cicadinae