First Dog-day Cicadas of 2012

After several years as a subterranean juvenile, a Tibicen species Cicada molts to its adult stage
Kiri has been finding a lot of cool stuff lately!  Two nights ago she found this Dog-day cicada molting - I had never caught one in the act before.  After several years feeding on the roots of the sycamore tree behind our house, the cicada climbed up from the soil, and shed its nymphal skin.

Fluid is pumped into the insects wings, which then harden for flight
It takes some time for the insect's exoskeleton to harden.  We call these soft-shell crab style insects 'teneral.'  While teneral this cicada was a vibrant green!  The cicada's call is one of those summer sounds that makes me smile - but this one will not be singing, rather it will be the object of the song as she's a female!
Ninja Cicada?
The striped structure in the center of her face is called the clypeus.  It houses strong muscles that help suck plant juices from trees.  I first saw this 'mask' as a kid and ever since cicadas have reminded me of a certain character from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:


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