Subject: Potato bug? Beatle?
Geographic location of the bug: Houston, Texas
Time: 04:06 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This guy was on the ground, dead. It’s as big as my thumb. Big.
How you want your letter signed: Curious Michael
Dear Curious Michael,
This is the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Cicada, and lifeless would be a more accurate description because it is not dead. The immature Cicada spends several years underground as a nymph feeding on fluids from the roots of trees, shrubs and other plants. When they near maturity, they dig to the surface and molt for the last time, eventually flying off as a winged adult leaving the exuvia behind. Cicadas are the loudest insects in the world.