Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Cicadas "Clean up real good"

This fellow was found crawling across the front walk, still bearing evidence of its long stint underground. Seeking a mate, a shower might be timely, but given the lack of facilities, the cicada has come up with a far better strategy. It climbs up to a good perch, sheds its old skin in the privacy of darkness, and pumps blood into newly unfolding wings.
The underside of a tree limb works well, since there's no obstruction that could rub against and bend the delicate wings as they take shape.
My daughter discovered lots of these shed skins still attached under the limbs of a red oak.
Some cicadas don't bother climbing a tree. This one latched on to the petal of a coneflower in preparation for moulting.

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