Bug of the Week: Cicada Nymph Exoskeletons

Insects can interfere with exercise.

cicada-nymphs-mesquite-tree250For example, these light-colored objects on the dark bark of a mesquite caught my eye and I had to run home and grab my camera.

nice-cidada-nymph-SC_0260Do you recognize it?

cicada-nymph-close-gd42Here, look closer.

It’s the exoskeleton shed by a cicada turning from a nymph into an adult. Can you see the covering where the eyes were? How about the large front legs used for digging?


The bulbous area in front of the eyes is the covering for the part of the mouth that pumps fluids from plants. The flap-like structure on the side of the body is the wing bud that develops into the wing of the adult.

Have you ever found a cicada nymph exoskeleton? Where did you find it? Did you look at it closely?







  1. Sarah @ Share it! Science

    I used to collect exoskeletons like these when I was a kid. So fascinating!

  2. Roberta

    They are. You can even see the linings of the air tubes inside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.