|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is an skin of a cicada nymph. It had an opening on the back from where the adult insect emerged.|
I know this is not a top notch quality - but considering the poor light conditions and lack of real macro lens it is quite good.
These insects have a very interesting life cycle (se below)
A cicada is any of several insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with small eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are one of the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and remarkable (and often inescapable) acoustic talents.
After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig and deposits her eggs there. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newborn nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow and start another cycle. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, e.g. the Magicicada goes through a 13- or even 17-year life cycle. These long life cycles are an adaptation to predation, as a predator could not regularly fall into synchrony with the cicadas. 13 and 17 are prime numbers, so while a cicada with a 15-year life cycle could be preyed upon by a predator with a 3- or 5-year life cycle, the 13- and 17-year cycles allow them to stop the predators falling into step.
Most of this time, the animals spend underground as nymphs at depths ranging from about 30 cm (1 ft) up to 2.5 m (about 8½ ft). The nymphs feed on root juices and have strong front legs for digging.
In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. On a nearby plant, they moult one last time and emerge as an adult. When they moult, they shed their skins, and the abandonded skins can often be found left on trees, still clinging to the bark.
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