Molting: Cicada

A couple of Friday nights ago I finally got to see a cicada molt from start to finish. The entire process took about three hours. Selected from the images I collected, these will take you through the process that I saw!
 

(To get a closer look at the details click twice on any of the images below!)

The cicada nymph begins his hunt for the ‘spot’ where the molt will take place…

 
He turns up onto the limb of choice; I do not know why this is the particular limb he likes but this is the one he chose..

 
For some reason the nymph spent several minutes crawling around on this leaf…

 
Finally he has found the spot; a long shaft from his tail digs down into the bark and his feet clamp onto the bark to stabilize the nymph…

 
After a rest of about an hour, the back of the nymph’s shell just behind the head splits and the cicada pushes his head out…

 
The head and part of his thorax is out though his wings are still in the shell…

 
The cicada has all of his legs out and his wings, still furled, hang on each side…

 
His body is almost completely out of the shell but his wings are still furled…

 
The cicada’s wings have opened out and he will spend another few hours here waiting for them to dry; he was gone in the morning…

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