Metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada

Subject: Critter emerging from skeletal shell
Location: Sturbridge,Ma.
September 11, 2014 5:40 am
This critter was observed attached to a maple tree right at sunset so the lighting was tricky. I observed it for 25 minutes before darkness took over. I posted the picture on Facebook but no one was able to identify it. I was not sure if this guy was just shedding it’s shell or going through a transition stage.
Signature: Michael Edick

Metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada
Metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada

Dear Michael,
This is a spectacular image of the metamorphosis of an Annual Cicada in the genus
Tibicen.  For several years, the Cicada Nymph has been living underground feeding on nourishment from the roots of trees and shrubs.  When maturity time approaches, it digs to the surface, climbs up a tree or other vertical feature and molts for the final time, emerging as a winged adult and leaving behind the exoskeleton of the nymph or exuvia.  You are probably familiar with the clamor produced by male Cicadas in the treetops during the dog days of summer.  When they are plentiful, the loud buzzing sound is quite a cacophony.  One common eastern species is known as the Dog Day Harvestfly.

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