Cicada

Scissor Grinder Cicada Exoskeleton (Pinery Provincial Park, September 2014)

Scissor Grinder Cicada Exoskeleton (Pinery Provincial Park, September 2014)

Females cicadas lay eggs in the bark of branches or twigs. The eggs hatch into tiny nymphs that fall from trees and then burrow into the ground, where they feed on roots. The nymphs remain underground for a number of years (7-13?).  During that time, they grow and shed numerous skins. Finally, they emerge from the ground, crawl up tree trunks, and then shed their last skins to become adults, leaving their exoskeletons attached to trees.  Adults live for about a month.  They pierce through the bark of trees and drink plant juices through their sucking mouth parts.  Delicious!  They do not bite and are harmless to handle – unless of course they mistake you for a tree;)

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