• Stephen Strum

Cicada Transformation

Updated: Jan 31



I was able to spot a Cicada nymph climbing up a tree yesterday evening and decided to film the three-hour molting process where the adult form emerged. Cicadas are probably my favorite insect but this is the first time I've seen an entire molting process from start to finish. It is pretty remarkable to see in person, and the video at the bottom of the page shows the whole process in a couple minutes (along with a slower time lapse during the last 2/3rds of the video).


Cicadas are amazing creatures that spend several years underground feeding from the roots of trees before crawling up their home tree and then emerging from their nymph shell. In adult form, they usually only live a few weeks, but their entire life cycle can span as much as 17 years. Adult Cicadas can't bite or sting you, but a group of them can be extraordinarily loud!


Here are a few still pictures I took of the Cicada I watched yesterday evening, with a link to the video at the bottom of the page.


If you are looking for some books on Cicadas, here are some to start with that are aimed primarily at younger readers:

Some books on Cicadas: Cicadas!: Strange and Wonderful https://amzn.to/2XIFP0k

Cicadas (Dig Deep! Bugs That Live Underground): https://amzn.to/2XMtGCL

The Bizarre Life Cycle of a Cicada: https://amzn.to/2NQvoDm


The above book links are amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission from any Amazon sales which help to support this channel.


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