Cicada Exuvia from Madagascar

Brown bug with debris from Madagascar
April 27, 2010
I don’t even know where to start research with this bug. It was on a post about 3 feet off the ground in Madagascar in summer. It’s relatively slow moving and about .75″ long. Can you help?
Andasibe, central Madagascar

Cicada Exuvia

Hi Theresa,
The bug in your photo is actually the Exuvia of a Cicada, and the insect had previously left the premises.   Insects have an exoskeleton that must be shed before the insect can grow or metamorphose.  Immature Cicadas live underground for many years, and as they mature, they crawl to the surface and climb a tree or other vertical structure several feet before beginning the final metamorphosis.  The exoskeleton splits and the adult winged Cicada emerges, leaving behind the cast off exoskeleton known as the exuvia.  Exuvia of Cicadas and Dragonflies are often noticed, and they are probably among the most commonly submitted insect remains to our website.

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