The Cicadas Come Out of Their Shells

(Adult cicada soon after shedding its nymphal skin.)

The cicadas continue to emerge from the earth.  Every morning, I find new ones basking in the morning sun, waiting until their wings expand enough to fly.  Here are some images I took of newly-emerged adult cicadas.  As you can see, they are quite anemic looking when they first break free of their nymphal skins, but they soon transform.  In the first photo, you can see how shriveled their wings look when they first come out of their shell.  In the second,  the wings have expanded, but are still not ready to fly.  But just hours later, they are ready to take to the sky, to begin their rather eerie serenade to find  a mate.

(Newly-emerged adult cicada)

(Fully-developed adult cicada resting on my daisies)

Isn’t that an amazing transformation?  If you would like to see yet more cicada shots, come back tomorrow.  As you may have guessed, I took quite a few.  🙂  I hope you don’t mind indulging my cicada obsession for just one more day.

(And on a side note, Happy Birthday to my son Benjamin.  One last year of being a teenager before he becomes an adult.  🙂  I love you so much, Benjamin, and am so glad you are my son.)



7 Responses to “The Cicadas Come Out of Their Shells”

  1. luckypennies Says:

    That’s cool that they’ve started singing, since they hadn’t when I was at home. I can’t wait to hear them and see y’all!

  2. June Says:

    Well Beth, I can’t say I think they’re pretty, but your photos of them are very very good! Excuse me if I’m repeating myself, but didn’t these little buggers come out a few years ago? I know we’ve heard them at Blackberry Ridge and we’ve only been there since 2003. Shouldn’t they still be asleep???!!

  3. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    June: I think there are seven species of cicadas (including 17-year and 13-year varieties), so there are probably cicadas around of one kind or another at any given time. Plus, with the 17-year ones, there are different broods (the one emerging this year is Brood XIV), so there can be different broods of the 17-year cicadas that emerge on different years. If you want to read more, here is a really cool site:

  4. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    Lucky Pennies: Yes, their singing is eerie—it sounds like aliens from outer space have landed in our back yard. Perhaps the aliens have come at last to take us back to our home planet. 🙂
    We can’t wait to see you either, babygirl.

  5. bluemountainmama Says:

    great captures, beth! i used to pick the shells off of trees when i was little and collect them. i was quite fascinated with them.

  6. Judy Says:

    Beth, Thanks for the comment on my blog. Your pictures of the cicada are just wonderful and amazing! I have been seeing all these small holes in my yard for a month and now I know why! I have lots of huge trees around my house. I will probably have lots of eerie singing to listen to soon. I, too, used to collect the shells when I was a child. Your photography is just wonderful and I really enjoy looking at your pictures.

  7. KaDonna Says:

    i might b sacared of them but the way they trasformed is way 2 koolthey r very eerie but their kool

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