Periodical Cicada Time-Lapse

A time-lapse video of the eclosion of a Brood XIX periodical cicada by Mark Dolejs, who explains the process on his blog:

This video is from North Carolina- but the same brood is predicted to emerge in Illinois shortly. I can’t wait!

5 thoughts on “Periodical Cicada Time-Lapse”

  1. That looks pretty perilous at some point.. if a cicada falls off, are they done for? (not counting predation of course) Or can they climb back up to a safe spot?

    1. If it’s hard enough to not be damaged too much they should be fine.
      But I think its quite common that moulting insects insects fail to harden the cuticle in a proper way. They are obviously very soft, and also quite heavy when newly emerged, as they contain a lot of liquids (eg Lepidoptera)
      Especially the wings are susceptible to damage, saw a dragonfly (Aeshna sp.) with it wings all curled up and unable to fly just a week ago, must have lacked space to properly “inflate” them with haemolymph before they cured. Poor thing..

      Nice video, I especially like how conspicious and stark the colour changes are.

  2. Thanks so much for posting my time lapse! It was a blast to work on, even though it didn’t quite frame up the way I would like. I have been hoping to reshoot it, but we have had a lot of afternoon and evening rain since I did the original, and the emergence has slowed quite a bit. I’m thinking it may be too late to reshoot, we’ll see.

    I am looking forward to exploring your photos. It looks like you have quite the collection!

    Thanks again!


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