Lastly, the insect world serves up some pretty unusual treats and the Cicada is one.
That ubiquitous microminiature chainsaw buzzing coming from trees and the ground in late summer is known by all, but often mistaken for frogs (frogs mating calls are in the spring.) The strange (to some people anyway, entymologists are a different breed) thing is, the cicadas that we know and er, love actually molt and leave their body shells behind, a perfect duplicate including legs, goggles, abdomen, the works. After tunneling out of the ground, they grab on to something they can dig their claws into, like our wooden mailbox post:

Then weasel and wrench themselves out of their exoskeletons, usually causing a slit to open down the back, like a fine evening dress, leaving it still clamped on to the mailbox post for eternity. Then it's Graduation Day!Today I am an adult! No more wimpy underclass nymph jokes for me! Ha, ha!
I say cicada, you say cicaeta, let's crush the thing with a big fat pataeta!

4 comments:

buthidae said...

Do you know about leashed cicadas?. Tie a 3-4 foot length of thread right behind their eyes, and take a walk to your favorite park. Or wildly entertain your favorite cat. It is best to use female cicadas, though. Males' heads tend to pop off too easily.

dignature said...

Well, it's all fun and games until the head pops off. I HAD NOT heard of leashed cicadas, but coming from a scorpion keeper, I'm not at all surprised.
I HAD heard of Flea Circuses, Wood Tick Racing, and harnesses for walking Bearded Dragons. You can learn something new every day if you're not careful.
Well, next fall it's off to the park with leashed cicadae, sounds like it would make good video material. What would the Dalai Lama think tho? Hopefully he won't be at the park that day and have to see a head pop off.
Thanks for the tip!

Zap Z said...

I love em for their perfectly bizarre prime-number-of-years spent underground ... before coming out to molt, breed, and die, they spend years underground - either 13 or 17 years, depending on what flavor of cicada they are ...

dignature said...

I just realized this morning that they are responding to all those SETI broadcasts we've been beaming into space for so many years.
They've been trying to communicate with us through buzzing and buzzing, but we're idiots and keep looking into deep space for intelligent life.
They're completing the prime number set we've been sending out!
D'oh! We could probably have solved Fermat's Enigma years ago! (whacks forehead with heel of hand)