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This colourful creature is actually the large brown Cicada...but it is a very different colour when the nymphs climb out of their casing, leaving these empty shells all over the countryside hanging from trees and plants. Look for them when you are next walking.

Cicadas are part of the Homoptera family, as these insects have two pairs of wings in the same structure, often transparent and membranous which when resting fold flat over the back.

Here a red-nosed Cidada, just starting to emerge from its casing. The wings will expand and body will turn black within the next hour or so.

Cicadas lay their eggs in the tree bark after mating. The nymphs then emerge and burrow straight into the soil below, where they remain from a few months to a few years! (one species in America remains underground for 17 years….quite a long adolescence). The nymph then crawls to the surface, climbs a nearby plant or tree, and emerges from its old “skin”. These hunched over empty shells can be found all over the countryside.


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