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
Over the next several weeks, as soil temperatures across parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland begin to climb above 64˚F, billions of periodic cicadas will emerge after 17 years living underground, filling the spring season with their deafening mating songs as they spend just a single season in the open air before dying.
This is Brood V of Magicicada, one of the fifteen geographical “brood” populations of a special genus of insects (they’re different from the brown cicadas many of us see/hear every year).
It’s not uncommon for insects to have long larval stages, often underground, lasting months or years, but nothing compares to the Magicicadas. Chances are some of you weren’t born when this year’s brood went underground. What’s incredible is that a particular brood doesn’t emerge every 15 years, or 18 years… they only emerge in 13 or 17-year cycles. Prime numbers!
That prime number emergence isn’t a coincidence. Find out why these insects rely on math to survive in this video!
A cicada (Carineta diardi) emerging from it’s nymph shell into adulthood. More colorful than most of the cicadas, but after drying up the exoskeleton it will darken, and the wings becomes dark green instead of bright blue. From the atlantic forest in Brazil.
As soil temperatures 8 inches under the ground reach a balmy 64°F, periodical cicadas will begin to emerge. The strange bit is that they tend to do it in groups–whole regions containing billions of cicadas are synchronized in 17 or 13 year cycles. This year, Brood V will emerge in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, much to the West of Washington, D.C. Find more from the Encyclopedia of Life.
the thing about cicadas is that if you live somewhere where they scream in the summertime frequently enough to where you’ve gotten used to them, you can’t even hear them anymore unless your attention is somehow drawn to them at some point
take now, for example
if there are cicadas near you, you can hear them now, even if you weren’t actively hearing them before
they’ve been screaming this whole time; only now have you chosen to attune your ear and listen
Based on the colors of some real life cicadas. The Nincada are based more loosely on emerging cicadas of those species, since it was hard to find good pictures of the nymphs. There were more of these I would like to do, but this is good for now, haha. This time I went for a more ‘realistic’ look and stuck with one pose. ; P
Speaking of Godzilla, this awesome model of the famous Japanese monster was made entirely from cicada nymph shells by Twitter user @3kyk212. Cicada shells are pretty easy to find around Japan this time of year because summer is when the cicadas emerge from the ground to molt into their adult forms and seek out mates.