I spotted something on the wall of the house.
A cicada was emerging from its nymphal shell.
I was so excited to get to finally see this happen.
As a little girl, I'd grab the shells off trees and stick them to my shirt, in my hair, and wherever else I could get them to stick.
I knew what the adult insect looked like, but always wondered what it looked like as it was "hatching".
Now I know.
I don't know how long it took to get the stage you see in the first picture, but this series of pictures was taken over a 45 minute period.
|All six legs are still trapped|
|Front two legs are almost free|
|Here come the wings with the front legs|
|Four legs free now, as are the wings|
|Using gravity to help the process|
|All six legs are finally out|
|Slight vibration is used to help pull its abdomen free|
|Serious looking proboscis. |
It will be used to suck nutritional fluid from tree branches.
|Wings fully unfurled|
|Sitting back up to pull out the bottom half|
|Hanging onto the shell so he won't fall|
|Almost completely out|
|Gotta let those wings dry and outer shell harden|
This diagram shows how the sound we all know and love (or hate) is made.
The male cicada makes the sound in hopes of finding a mate.
I can't imagine how loud the nighttime would be if both sexes could make the 'song'.
|diagram credit: Florida State University|
If you'd like to know more about these cool insects, look here.
Cicadas, Katydids and Crickets typify the summer nights at my house.
Do you have a favorite summer night sound?