Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Cicada FAIL: Growing Up Is Hard To Do September 3, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Bugs,Seasons,Summer — saltthesandbox @ 3:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

Maybe that title is a little harsh. Cicadas go through a lot as they convert from underground nymphs to adults flying through the treetops. Lots has to go right for it to happen, involving hormones and other complex biochemical activities on the inside and major changes to their bodies on the outside. And a lot of things can go wrong.

I’m not sure what happened here, but something cut short the life of this Annual Cicada, preserving it forever frozen in a transition from nymph to adult:

This nymph crawled out of the ground, climbed a wall, locked itself in place, and started to shed its skin -- but died before it could complete the transition to adult.

This nymph crawled out of the ground, climbed a wall, locked itself in place, and started to shed its skin -- but died before it could complete the transition to adult. The dead adult dried, darkened, and mummified into its current form.

I even feel a little guilty for displaying its dead body this way. Maybe we’ll go back and retrive it from the wall, and bury in our backyard pet cemetery. Or maybe we’ll let the ants do their job.

—–

To see what would have happened if everything had gone right, check out this series of photos on our Kids’ Cicada Hunt website.

This blog post discusses deformities and other things that can go wrong as cicadas transform from nymphs to adults.

 

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