Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Discarded cicada shells
Another cicada photo. Albert sent this one of their discarded shells in New Zealand. He says “I thought the empty shells were actually critters that could jump up at me. It was only later that I learnt that what I had been photographing were nothing more scary than empty cicada shells!” The shells’ owners were not necessarily dead. After emerging from underground the cicadas molt (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned exoskeleton remains, still clinging to the bark of trees, as here. More about their life-cycle in Wikipedia.