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Photo#324858
Cicada Molting - Neotibicen tibicen

Cicada Molting - Neotibicen tibicen
Manassas County, Virginia, USA
August 25, 2009

Images of this individual: tag all
Cicada Molting - Neotibicen tibicen Cicada Molting - Neotibicen tibicen

Moved
Moved from Swamp Cicada.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Tibicen tibicen (=chloromera)
"Swamp Cicada"

Nice pic's!

 
How does the cicada 'leave' the exoskeleton
I've watched tree crickets molt, and they hand upside down allowing gravity to help them emerge from their exoskeleton.

But I usually find cicada exoskeletons in a vertical position on trunks -- and this photo suggests it emerged without gravity or the use of any limbs.

 
They do use GRAVITY!
Most, if not all cicadas must hang either vertically or upside down to molt successfully.

The vast majority of US species and individuals seem to use the vertical or slightly off vertical approach (but NOT always). Notice how the cicada in this image is suspended and hanging backwards!..As the nymphal exoskeleton splits, the emerging adult cicada pulses and expands, further splitting the "shell" along the dorsal mid-line. The cicada adult continues to expand its new exoskeleton and once the head is free, this is the point at which gravity begins to help. The cicada uses gravity to help it lean back - once in this position it holds, waiting for its legs to harden up enough to reach forward, grab onto the molt or support surface, and free its abdomen from the shell. Although cicadas will hang upside down, I have noticed that in artificial conditions, like screen cages, the adults can slip and fall - but rarely if ever when hanging vertically(?). Perhaps in the upside down position, gravity works too well ;)

 
Thanks,
..great explanation.

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