Neotibicen similaris, 17 August 2017

Neotibicen similaris, the Similar dog-day cicada;
Volusia county, Florida (17 August 2017, Nikon D7100).

Lizards and snakes may soak up much of my attention, but I’ve got a deeply unhealthy obsession with cicadas. Seriously, I can’t get enough of these little tanks. Featured here is a Similar dog-day cicada, Neotibicen similaris, an annual species often seen and heard in my neck of the woods (or, rather, in my neighborhood). In the top image, the three “jewels” in the middle are actually ocelli — simple eye structures that read contrast between light and dark. The two big bulbs on each side are compound eyes. Ocelli are quite recurrent in a number of organisms and in a number of forms. In some branches of Insecta, they are dorsal ocelli (like what you see here, often in sets of three). Sea stars, on the other hand, have pigment spot ocelli (more on that later). I adore photographing the dorsal ocelli of cicadas whenever I get the chance. They’ve got mugs like no other.


Learn more about Similar dog-day cicadas!

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