A Cicada


A Cicada, originally uploaded by DianthusMoon.

These are very prehistoric looking, but also the ‘Mad Max of bugs with the ‘armor’ he is wearing. You mainly just see their left behind casings/skins which was near this one on a stalk of a flower (he was gone within a short time after I took his photo). He’s rather cool looking with his long translucent wings and beady green eyes. The story goes they hibernate under ground for up to 17 yrs. We are hearing lots of the shrill male Cicadas making noises now-and they are very loud!
From Wikipedia… (Someone told us the shrill noise made them blown themselves up! Sounds like a big brother passed on that info!)

After mating, the female cuts slits into the bark of a twig, and into these she deposits her eggs. She may do so repeatedly, until she has laid several hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, the newborn nymphs drop to the ground, where they burrow. Most cicadas go through a life cycle that lasts from two to five years. Some species have much longer life cycles, such as the North American genus, Magicicada, which has a number of distinct “broods” that go through either a 17-year or, in the South of the USA, a 13-year life cycle. These long life cycles perhaps developed as a response to predators such as the cicada killer wasp and praying mantis. A predator with a shorter life cycle of at least 2 years could not reliably prey upon the cicadas.

Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, at depths ranging from about 30 cm (1 ft) down to 2.5 m (about 8½ ft). The nymphs feed on root juice and have strong front legs for digging.

In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then molt (shed their skins), on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The abandoned skins remain, still clinging to the bark of trees.

We had some much needed rain yesterday and my flowers are happy. I like the gardens now because they are doing what they are suppose to do now-thrive! I’m finding many things are being munched by insects though. And the butterflies this year have been abundant which makes me happy too!
I’m having some neck issues, mostly when I lift heavy things or when I start to stir in the morning. I think it’s arthritis from a long ago injury. Just have to live with it and use good ol’ Icy Hot!
Tomorrow night is the Sir Paul concert! Can’t wait!

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