Flora & Fauna,  Journal

Cicada Exoskeleton

A strange bug that is sitting motionless in the picture above actually is uses to be a part of cicada body. It is a exoskseleton of cicadas that called ‘exuviae’. Exoskeleton is one of the things that will remain behinds after all the insect undergo moulting process. Moulting process is when the arthropods must go through the delicate process of shedding the old exoskeleton for expanding their body size before the exoskeleton becomes hardens.

It takes 2 years for the cicada nymphs to live underground before the nymphs will emerge from soil to undergo moulting process. The reason why before they emerge from soil they will stay underground is because, after the nymph’s cicada emerge from eggs, they spend a week above ground before metamorphosis. It because that time, they are big, juicy and cannot fly and mostly will be most preferred by their predator such as praying mantis, lizards, birds and rodents.

The process how they left behind this exuviae is, once the cicada nymphs that live underground had approached their maturity, they will dig to the surface. Then, they will moult into winged adults. The adult’s cicada will live only 2 to 4 weeks. During this short time, they feed little because they have to mate. The male cicada will sing by vibration sound to attract female cicada for mating before they reaching to the end of their life.