Nebraska Conehead (Neoconocephalus nebrascensis)
Occasional to common in the western and southern counties, uncommon in the eastern counties.
Meadows, fields and shrubby edges. They are more to be found at the edge of wooded areas than are the Sword-bearing and Round-tipped Coneheads.
They are more common farther west and south and are a species I expect to find in Medina and Lorain Counties. Individuals occasionally show up in eastern counties such as Geauga.
Similar to the Sword-bearing Conehead, but the cone is longer and solid black underneath. The wings are a little shorter in relation to the more substantial abdomen. (Below: cones of a green male and a brown female.)
A loud, rhythmic, and relentless "Tzeeeeeet! Tzeeeeeet! Tzeeeeeet!" Their delightfully obnoxious song would become hypnotic if it weren’t so painfully penetrating. No one is going to get any sleep if there are a number of these coneheads singing.
Late July until the beginning of October, depending on fall temperatures.
General description and context
The farther west in Ohio one goes, the more common they become. They are widespread on Kelleys Island and in northwest Ohio, so listen for the changeover as you travel west through the lakeshore counties. Like our region’s other coneheads, this species can be found in its green or brown color form.
Other coneheads may resemble them, but no other conehead sounds like the Nebraska. Otherwise, check the shape and amount of black on the cone if the insect is a female or the male isn’t singing. Keep in mind that Nebraska Coneheads are much more likely to be found west of Cuyahoga County. Finally, remember that Nebraskas can be found at the edge of meadows and even just inside the woods and in shrubs, unlike the exclusively meadow-dwelling coneheads.
I made some singing insect recordings while on Kelleys Island one year, and the ever-present Nebraska Coneheads can be heard even on my recordings of the very loud Common True Katydids!
Listening in Nature
Songs of Insects:
Singing Insects of North America: