Never having seen a cicada in mid-moult, I was fascinated to find this one in my yard this weekend. Their sounds are the background music for nearly every summer (“Can you say that again!? I can’t hear you over the cicadas!”) and I’ve often seen their exuvia (the cast-off exoskeletons), but never witnessed how they emerge from them.
Their larvae develop underground, feeding off the liquid of roots, until they are ready to moult. At that time they tunnel to the surface and attach to trees, etc., in this case an electricity pole.
It jiggled, almost like a tremble, as it slowly and gradually wriggled out. At first, the wings were soft and crumpled.
After a couple of hours, they straightened and strengthened, and the cicada slowly moved away from its former skin.
The exuvia are used in Chinese Traditional Medicine, ground into a powder, and used as an anti-convulsive, sedative, and to reduce skin irritation and itch, among other things.
Maybe I should start saving them up instead of using them to scare the kids.