Sunday, September 8, 2013

Night Wings Unfurling - Dog Days Cicada Emergence

Some of the cousins gathered at the grandparents' place last night. As supper settled, the dog days cicadas began to sing in earnest, perhaps sensing, with the evening's moderating temperature, that their days were numbered. Jay soon spotted this impressive example on the old long leaf pine out front. 

When a closer examination revealed a recently abandoned cicada exoskeleton, a still-occupied exoskeleton, and an exoskeleton in the process of being evacuated, we were mesmerized, but not so much that we forgot to capture a few images for Hoot Owl Karma.

We've noticed and occasionally gathered the empty exoskeletons of these annual cicadas all our lives here in the south, but had never thus far had the opportunity to witness the final stages of emergence in their entirety.

Roughly forty minutes elapsed from first image to last, and as the diaphanous wings dry out, hopefully this amazing creature will join the midnight chorus and do its part to put together next summer's band. 


  1. Very cool, indeed! Two things really impressed me. The coloration of the emergent adult blended amazingly well with the pinkish tinted pine bark - perfect camouflage; and the speed with which the adult "inflated" its wings and prepared for its first flight. Both very important factors at a time when the animal is most vulnerable to predation. By the way, I love my butterfly tile! The perfect September birthday present.

  2. You're the one who just had a birthday (which I hope was good!) but you keep giving the rest of these such awesome presents through lens and pen.