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First Cicada Nymph of the Season!

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First Cicada Nymph of the Season!

Tibicen canicularis nymph

Well, like clockwork, just like last year, I found my first nymph of the season this year. Unfortunately, this year, there was a little mishap. This nymph was about nine feet up on a pine tree out of my reach. But I still wanted it because it hadn't molted yet. I found a nearby branch and tried to coax the nymph onto the branch but unfortunately, instead of going on the branch it ended up falling with a rather disheartening "thump" onto the hard dirt. I picked it up to examine it, and I discovered that it was injured.

The end result is the sequence of photos I took below. It should be noted that this is a female Tibicen canicularis. This is the first year that I have discovered a T. canicularis BEFORE T. lyricen. We've had a ton of rain this spring with a lot of flooding all over the state of Massachusetts. I hope this didn't hurt the T. lyricens. Only time will tell I suppose. This specimen ended up having a busted wing because of its fall. But on the bright side, I really love my new camera my girlfriend bought for me for Christmas. It takes super shots! Check it out for yourself.

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  • Pic 1 - A picture taken with flash. Notice the dark outline around the wing bud. This spells trouble for this nymph.
  • Pic 2 - The back starts to split down the center from the pronotum to the mesonotum.
  • Pic 3 - Head shot
  • Pic 4 - The split grows wider.
  • Pic 5 - ...and wider.
  • Pic 6 - ...and still wider.
  • Pic 7 - The back split at its maximum. Now the cicada teneral will pull its head out.
  • Pic 8 - A closer look.
  • Pic 9 - A shot at the gap inside the pronotal collar and the top of the mesonotum. Look at all the bristly hairs on the mesonotum!
  • Pic 10 - The head is finally out. Check out the oscelli (the three small red dots in a triangle between the two compound eyes.)
  • Pic 11 - ... here's a closer look.
  • Pic 12 - ... The cicada teneral starts to wiggle out of the exuvium.
  • Pic 13 - A ventral view. This is the first indication that it is a female. Note the moist cuticular strands attached to the beak and on either side of the cicada. These eventually dry and snap off.
  • Pic 14 - The cicada hangs precariously up-side-down by its abdomen which is lodged inside the exuvium. It will hang like this for approximately 35 - 45 minutes. The reason it waits so long is due to the fact that its own legs won't be able to support its weight. They are still soft, so they will have to harden.
  • Pic 15 - Lateral view of three fore, mid and hind legs and the tissue-like wing.
  • Pic 16 - A closup of the wing before expansion.
  • Pic 17 - A lateral view showing the cicada's ovipositor at the bottom.
  • Pic 18 - A closeup shot of the ovipositor and the posterior abdomen.
  • Pic 19 - Dorsal view showing a damaged wing. The result of this nymph's fall from a high place.
  • Pic 20 - Wing venation of the good wing.

I will have a set of photos of the fully developed adult. Now its time to try some experiments!!

Date Posted: 2006-07-04 Comments: (0) Show CommentsHide Comments


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