They Make Holes

Top:  Cicada cast skin Bottom:  Cicada emergence hole

Top: Cicada cast skin
Bottom: Cicada emergence hole

Cicada immatures live underground feeding on the roots of trees. Tree roots can extend far from the trunk and cicadas can feed on roots far from the center. When it is time to emerge, cicadas dig their way to the surface leaving round emergence holes in the soil. The greatest concentration of roots and cicadas are close to the trunk so cast skins are frequently observed on the trunk of the tree. However, any vertical surface can be suitable for molt to adult. In this case, a cicada feeding on a peripheral tree roots emerged in the middle of my garden, climbed a caladium and molted. Trees, not the caladium are the preferred calling and mating site. Once it had completed its molt, it likely flew to the nearest tree.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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One Response to They Make Holes

  1. Pingback: They Make Holes | Entomo Planet

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