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Swamp Cicada Inflating Wings-1 - Neotibicen tibicen

Swamp Cicada Inflating Wings-1 - Neotibicen tibicen
Durham County, North Carolina, USA
August 15, 2004
Size: 51 mm
My daughter found this cicada (as a nymph) lying in a gutter after a heavy rain. (I thought it was dead.) She insisted we put it in a jar of water, and I was shocked to see it swim for its life. We put it on a nice, dry, piece of bark and it emerged the next morning during breakfast. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the nymph before emergence. I snapped this shot just after it fell out of the larval skin. The whole inflation of the wings took just a few minutes. (Emergence started at about 9:20 a.m. Wings were inflated completely by about 9:45 a.m. The photos here range from 9:27 to 10:30 a.m.) I did not get to see the wings harden and the critter fly off. Measured length of this individual with wings fully inflated was about 51 mm. Body length was about 40 mm.

Sequence of photos of this individual is shown in linked images, with shed skin at far right.

Images of this individual: tag all
Swamp Cicada Inflating Wings-1 - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada-Inflating Wings-2 - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada-Inflating Wings-3 - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada-Inflating Wings-4 - Neotibicen tibicen Swamp Cicada--shed skin - Neotibicen tibicen

Moved from Swamp Cicada.

That is an amazing picture

These are really cool. I keep looking for cicadas before they shed their skin, but haven't found one yet.

Probably crawl out at night
Good point about the rarity of seeing cicada nymphs before they emerge. This is the only one I've seen. We found it on an evening walk, and I imagine the heavy rain had washed it into the gutter as it was crawling to a tree to emerge, or perhaps it was washed off the side of a tree. (I usually see the shed skins on trees and walls.) There's a project for next summer--walk around late at night spotlighting tree trunks to see if one can catch them before emergence.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Try Cemeteries
Up here in Massachusetts, i've been successful in finding Tibicen nymphs during all times of the day. As a matter of fact, I target cemeteries (even after dark). The reason for this is because most cemeteries have manicured lawns which make it very easy to spot nymphs. Not to mention that most trees in cemeteries are very old and well established.

I have had success both morning, afternoon and evenings when walking through cemeteries.

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