Below is a series of photos taken by one of the luckiest and most observant guys I know. Jim Hill, ISU Extension & Outreach Program Coordinator in Hancock County spent part of last Saturday evening watching an annual cicada make the miraculous metamorphosis from nymph to adult. This particular individual is way behind schedule since most of the annual cicadas emerged back in July. And what a fortuitous coincidence that the emergence took place low to the ground for easier (and safe) photographing and while the camera was in hand.
Jim says they were admiring empty cicada shells on the tree when they noticed one was moving. The next hour and 15 minutes was spent watching the emergence and the inflation of the wings. What a spectacle and what a wonderful series of photos. Thank you, Jim!
For more about annual cicada singing, see the Horticulture and Home Pest Newsletter from August 23, 2013.
For a discussion of the molting process in insects see About-dot-com.
Wings expanded but not yet hardened!
New adult alongside the empty shell.