Cicadas, Slowly but Surely

The cool weather here seems to have slowed our Brood X emergence. Since my initial cicada spottings on Monday, I’ve encountered only a few of the newly hatched insects. Yesterday evening, as I took one last walk in the yard before closing up for the night, I heard a rustling nearby on the silver maple. Two brown exoskeletons were attached to the bark. Just above them, a young, pale yellowish cicada was ever so slowly testing its legs. It bore the hallmark of the recently emerged, the two oblong black spots behind the eyes that suggest sunglasses or a carnival mask. The sound I heard, though, was coming from one of the skins. A closer inspection revealed that another insect was in the process of gradually freeing itself from its exoskeleton. It appeared to be a slow and laborious endeavor. No progress was apparent while I watched.

As the other cicada inched its way up the tree, the scratching sound continued, and the brown shell convulsed.

This morning, both shells were empty, and a newly winged, pale insect was beside them. The temperature is rising. This youngster should be in good company soon.