Subject: Bug in New Orleans
Location: New Orleans
July 29, 2012 10:28 pm
Today I was skating in City Park in New Orleans and as I was leaving the park to go home I saw this little guy hanging out on the sidewalk. He was kind of waving his left front leg and rubbing it against his eye. I think he may have been hurt. His skin was kind of bloated-looking and seemed loose and papery.
My boyfriend said this insect looks like a stag beetle, but the ”horns” in this photo are actually the front legs. His face was kind of plain, with two big black eyes. This bug was fairly large-possibly over 2” in length, and maybe an inch across or a little over at his widest point.
Since the bug was not really moving, and seemed hurt or stuck (maybe trampled by a wayward jogger) I gently nudged him over to the grass with a small stick to avoid any further injury.
Can you tell me what sort of bug this is?
Thank you!
Signature: Rachel

Cicada Nymph

Hi Rachel,
The quality of this photograph is quite poor, but this resembles a Cicada Nymph.  Cicada Nymphs spend several years underground feeding on fluids in plant roots and then they dig their way to the surface to metamorphose into winged adults that are significant contributors to the summer symphony of insect noises.  If this Cicada Nymph was injured, it will probably die before the metamorphosis process.

Thank you for the prompt reply! Sorry about the photo quality. The day was waning–I probably should have used the flash.
Now that you mention it, and after seeing the photos online, that bug was definitely a cicada nymph. I think I used to see a lot of them when I was younger but not for years and never up close.
Once again, thanks for getting back to me and appeasing my curiosity!

Location: Louisiana

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