This summer was a good one for looking for cicadas. I have always loved the noise of the cicadas and what they look like. What got me into cicadas was the time I was helping make our backyard garden. We tore up some dirt and saw a pitch white larva of a cicada! Ever since then I have thought that cicadas and their life cycle was amazing.
Their life cycle is awesome. When they come out of the egg they are in the larva stage. They stay under ground eating sap from tree roots for 17 years! Then they come up out of the ground, climb up a tree, and shed the old skin to become the adult form. Three times in my life I have seen a cicada coming out of it's skin.
Here is a cicada coming out of the larva skin.
When it comes out of the skin the cicada's wings are wet, so the cicada wants to go in the sunlight and warm up it's wings. As the wings warm up the wings open up.
Here is the same cicada warming up. The wings are at first green when it is wet.
Here you can see the wings expanding to almost full size.
The wings turn brown and clear once they are dry.
Once the wings are dry it's off to find a mate, because an adult only lives for two weeks! The males make the loud noise we hear in the trees. The females, meanwhile, make a click noise(it sounds like your fingers snapping).Once the female lays the eggs she will die.
I still think these bugs are amazing! I find about 35 skins of the larva every summer.
Here is me with a cicada I found.
And here are two other cicadas (the one that is in my hand actually made it's noise!)
So now you see why I love cicadas. And even though they are small they are a very amazing creature when you take the time to observe them.