17-year cicadas

Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
238
Location
Chicago suburbs
The 17-year cicadas are out in force now in the Chicagoland area. They are pretty interesting to watch once they emerge from the ground. They live for 17 years underground feeding off tree roots as a nymph and then an alarm clock goes off and they all emerge from the ground in amazing numbers. They climb up the nearest tree, plant, or tall grass and molt their exoskeleton. If they do not molt correctly they die or have deformed wings. When they molt they are white but within a few hours they turn completely black except for their eyes and transparent wings. They live in the trees as adults and once they mate they die. They only live above ground for 30-40 days but for that short time they are very loud and leave their exoskeletons everywhere. In areas where they are abundent there can be piles 3-4 inches deep of shells. So on to the images. Hope you like them and get to see and hear them in person some day.

Nymph finding it's way to a tree
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Molting
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Drying it's wings
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Adult colors
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Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
7,819
Location
Gilroy, California
Nice work.

I remember these busting loose back when I lived in Cincinnati in the early 90s. I've rarely seen so many critters. You couldn't walk in some areas without crunching them.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
264
Location
Everett, WA
Great shots and thanks for posting the information about the subject. We don't have them out here in the Pacific Northwest so I found it quite interesting. Thanks for helping me learn something new today!
 
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