Skin photo, more like. Old and new skin together, highlighted in early morning sun as he/she emerged into the adult form during the last molt of life. I found this cicada and its former skin hanging on an expanse of Cast Iron foliage as I finished some necessary pruning of summer wayward perennials.
Opalescence of blue and green, I was astounded at the beauty of this common, often disparaged insect. Growing up in Texas, the buzz of the cicadae are a fixed, noisy part of the fabric of my life. Ubiquitous and incessant in late summer, I don’t always notice the cicadae’s mating songs, but the songs are there. Always. Loud and desperate for love, or sex, anyway. They never SHUT UP about it!
In a post last month by Deb at austin agrodolce, she wrote about finding a cicada in much the same way I did–going about her gardening business and happening along to witness the drama a cicada’s molting for a mate. Like Deb, I knew it was a cicada, but it turns out these insects are particularly hard to identify to exact species. I’ve been using an excellent site to identify the various insects found in my gardens and I turned to this site for my cicada’s confirmation: Austin Bug Collection. I’m reasonably sure that the cicada is a Tibicen species and I’ll posit that the wearer of The Blue and The Green is a Tibicen resh.
But I could be wrong.
Earlier that same morning, I was freshening my dog’s outdoor water bowl and spied an odd thing floating in the water. I fished it out and it was the exoskeleton of the front section with connected eyes of a cicada. Yuck. And cool. I guess someone found a vulnerable cicada, mid-molt, munched it and then washed down the delightful snack with a slurp of water, leaving the morsel of head adrift.
My morning for cicada discoveries.
I checked later and Mr./ Ms. Cicada in the Cast Iron was gone.
Gone to participate in the cacophony of summer’s din. Gone to find the one true love. Gone to make more cicadae.
Gone to continue the racket for appreciative and unappreciative listeners.