If you have ever happen to see a cicada cloaked in its brown, lined shell and want to know how it changes to the complex and beautiful winged creature above, here’s some insight. By the way, I discovered this last summer. I picked up a cicada, thinking it was deformed and near death only to find this beautiful green insect emerge out of the dull shell within an hour. I made a watercolor to remember it, entitled “Cicada’s New Coat.”
Here is how it happened a couple days ago, while I was walking my dog. I found the arched, pod like, cicada moving sluggishly on the sidewalk. I did not want him stepped on by an early morning dog walker like myself so I picked him up and put him on my arm. He attached himself to my shoulder and came home with Annie and me. I put him in an aquarium with my violets and begonias (the violets and begonias will otherwise be eaten by my cats if they are not protected). It did not take long for the process to begin. He hung himself upside down on the screen cover and began to change within minutes.
I took some photos to record the event. I apologize for the quality at times but at least it gives you an idea of how they make there way out.
Cicada in upper right – image one
Cicada – image two with begonia
I had to go to work after taking this last picture and knew I could not disturb the process so I left him in the aquarium. Needless to say, he was quite eager when I returned home to fly free. He sat still long enough for me to take the first photo on this post, where he sits on my hand. Seconds afterward, he buzzed and flew off from sight. I admit I said a prayer he would be safe. Birds find cicadas quite tasty.