2004: Seventeen Year Cicadas Return
Professor of Biology and Chemistry
University of Cincinnati Clermont College,
Batavia OH 45103
|The cicada is molting
after 17 years in the ground
18 March 2004
|The molted adult
waits for its exosketon
There is a source of confusion with the term emergence, use frequently with cicadas. It appears to mean both of the following:
a) coming forth from the ground, as occurred in great numbers 16-18 May 2004. See the images below showing an apple trunk covered with nymphs having come out of the grouhd and crawling up the trunk.
b) the nymph molts: the exoskeleton splits open and the adult pushes out of the shell.
With apologies for the lack of resolution, here are male and female
Seventeen Year Cicadas. Note that the male's
rear abdoment is relatively free of features. In contrast, the
female has rather well-developed ovipositers:
The first eight were taken 16 May, and the rest taken the morning of 18 May 2004.
For a very thorough presentation on Seventeen Year Cicadas, see the web page put together by my colleague at UC Clermont College, Jan Carter on Seventeen Year Cicadas .
The first adult appeared Sunday, 16 May:
By the morning of 18 May, large numbers hadcome out of the recently soften ground. They seemed to prefer the lowest point on a hanging clothes line, and the north side of one particular apple tree. The nymphs have emerged from the ground in large numbers, and are in various stages of molting in the images to the right:
They seemed to prefer the clothesline, traversing to its nadir, and
One particular apple tree was LOADED with molting cicadas,
When te=hey molt, the emerging adult seems to flip back from the shell
of the nymph, and expand its wings from there.
Several views of adultss molting out of their nymph shells.
Here is a close up of a female:
By Sunday, 23 May 2004, few nymphs were emerging from the soil, or on
the tree trunks which had previously displayed MANY nymphs and molted adults.
HOwever, the adults were in full voice on the 23-25 May 2004.