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Molting Process of the Periodical Cicada

This being the "Summer of the Periodical Cicada", the timing was perfect to receive these spectacular images of the Cicada molting process as submitted from Darla M. of Lancaster, New York. These images show clear detail of the entire process and offer up a glimpse into a world that few of us ever stop to admire. So, with a special thanks to Darla for making these images possible, enjoy them on behalf of

Cicada Molting Stage 1
Photo Courtesy of Darla M. from Lancaster, NY - USA
The first step in the process shows the new Cicada half-way outside of its old shell. The shell is firmly attached to the side of a stone and clearly split down the middle. That abandoned shell is usually the sign that most of us see to let us know that Cicadas have burst onto our summer scene.
Cicada Molting Stage 2
Photo Courtesy of Darla M. from Lancaster, NY - USA
Another great shot of the new Cicada splitting its old "skin". One of the more unique things about this process that's clearly inherent in these images is the color to which the new Cicadas appear as - sort of a lime green. As most know, they'll eventually darken with some noticeable red details after the molting process is completed.
Cicada Molting Stage 3
Photo Courtesy of Darla M. from Lancaster, NY - USA
An excellent shot of the "newly birthed" Cicada on top of its old skin. Wings are clearly visible, as is the detail on the top of the body including the very identifiable eyes on either side of the head.
Cicada Molting Stage 4
Photo Courtesy of Darla M. from Lancaster, NY - USA

The final step (shown above) shows the Cicada next to the abandoned shell, now split and fully empty. The Cicada will eventually adopt different colors once its new body hardens (shown below).

Periodical Cicadas

Thumbnail picture of a Banded Garden Spider
Banded Garden Spider
Thumbnail picture of a Goldenrod Crab Spider
Goldenrod Crab Spider
Thumbnail image of a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly


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