Newly Hatched Cicada

I see these guys’ empty skins hanging from the trees regularly, but I’ve never seen a newly hatched one before until recently. He had come out of his skin and was allowing his wings to dry out.  Unlike the swarms of 13 year or 17 year cicadas, this type emerges every year and is nicknamed the annual cicada. They are also known as a jar fly, August dry bird, dog day cicada, and harvest fly.

The wingless young, or nymphs, spend 2 – 3 years underground feeding on tree roots. (Generations overlap so that there is an annual emergence) Then they come up out of the ground and the winged adult emerges out of the nymph skin.  Males make loud calls in the afternoon or evening to attract females. They can produce sounds up to 120 decibels, among the loudest of all insects.

After mating, the female lays her eggs deep into tree branches. When the eggs hatch, the young drop to the ground and burrow beneath the soil where they will spend the next 2 – 3 years feeding on tree root sap.

In China, cicadas are eaten as a delicacy. They have also been eaten in Latin America, Burma, Malaysia, and in the United States.

I wasn’t that hungry, so I let this one alone.


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