Adult female Cicadas lay eggs inside the bark of trees by means of an ovipositor.
When the eggs hatch, the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground and burrow.
Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives at depths down to about 2.5 metres (8 ft). Nymphs have strong front legs for digging and excavating chambers in close proximity to roots where they feed on xylem sap. In the process, their bodies and interior of the burrow become coated in anal fluids. In wet habitats, larger species construct mud towers above ground in order to aerate their burrows.
In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time, and emerge as adults. The exuviae or abandoned exoskeletons remain, still clinging to the bark of the tree.
Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, such as the North American genus, Magicicada, which has a number of distinct “broods” that go through either a 17-year or, in some parts of the world, a 13-year life cycle.
These long life cycles may have developed as a response to predators, such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis. A specialist predator with a shorter life cycle of at least two years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas.
Got home tonight and bae went outside to water the garden - comes back inside, tells me to check out this cool thing outside and iT’S A CICADA MOLTING ON OUR BACK DOOR
In all my life I’ve never seen this happen in real time so you bet your buckets I parked my butt right there with my phone and a clip-on macro lens to see this beautiful expedited act of puberty happen
Right when things were getting interesting, the wings comin’ out and everything the poor baby fell!!! right onto the door frame - then I panicked and wondered, do I let nature take its course? wait for a bird to come by for an easy snack? but then, no -
I put my hand out and the little soggy baby crawled right up my arm to sit on my collar, chillin’ on my sweatshirt until its lil’ paper wings unfurled - then it hung onto my finger for a sweet joyride back onto the frame of the back door
I put together another small give-away to say thank you to all you lovely and supportive people.
You must be a follower
You must live in the USA
Likes and reblogs both count and you may do so as much as you like
Please keep an open ask box so I can contact you if you are the winner
I will pick a winner on APRIL 1ST, 2014.
What you win:
A cotton fabric skull patch
An art history slide
Dried sage bundle
Three Pagan spell cards
A dried rabbit tail
Three antler slice buttons
A drilled raccoon scapula bone
A nymph cicada molt
A catfish bone
A small partial mouse skull
A crab claw
A bone fragment
Two handmade bone necklaces
A pair of handmade feather earrings
A wasp nest piece
A small shell
Two herbal oil jars
A seed pod
A small parrot feather