Hunt

Find

Solve

Do

Link

Home

Cicada Hunt!

Try to Solve This Mystery:

What do newly hatched nymphs look like?
   
We wondered what newly hatched cicada 
nymphs looked like, and we couldn't find 
photos of them on the Web.  So, we decided 
to catch some!  
   

Our books and Web sites said that adult cicadas 
lay their eggs in thin slits that they cut through the 
bark of living twigs.  The eggs look like tiny grains 
of rice.  At least some kinds of cicadas' eggs take 
a month or two to hatch.  Then the tiny, ant-like 
nymphs may suck sap from their twig for awhile 
before they finally drop to the ground and burrow 
into the dirt.
   

We had two different plans to find newly hatched 
nymphs:

Plan 1.  Look at live twigs that blew out of the trees 
on our street.
  We looked for twigs with slit bark.  
If we found them, we planned to keep the twigs 
until the eggs hatched.

Plan 2.  Catch tiny nymphs as they fell out of the 
trees.
  We covered our front lawn with white plastic 
lids, and we checked them day and night.

  

We put out the first lids on August 27.  Below are 
some photos of what we had found as of late October. 
(We took the pictures with our
Intel Play QX3 computer microscope.
They are all magnified the same amount.)

Do any of these "bugs" look like a cicada nymph to you?


     (top and bottom views of the same "bug")

    

     

  

     (top and side views of the same "bug")

         

(bar is 2 millimeters long)    
   

   
Look here to see what we called these "bugs."

  

   
Final Report for Summer and Fall, 2000:

Plan 1.  We never did find any twigs with
what looked like slit bark.

Plan 2.  We never caught anything that
looked like a newly hatched cicada nymph.

   
E-mail us at Cicadas@SaltTheSandbox.org

    

Here are some Websites that we used to research this question:

   To see photos of cicada eggs and of twigs where
   cicadas laid their eggs
, go to Periodical Cicada
   Life Stages
(University of Nebraska Department of
   Entomology):
    < http://www.ianr.unl.edu/ianr/entomol/images/pcicada/pcicada.htm >

   There's another photo of egg scars (and some good
   information) at Ohio State University's Extension Fact
   Sheet on Periodical and "Dog Day" Cicadas
:
   < http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/hyg-fact/2000/2137.html >

   We also learned interesting things from Dan Century's
   Cicada Mania FAQ page:
    <http://www.dancentury.com/cicada/faq.html>

   

NEXT:  Where did our cicada killer wasps dig their burrows?

  

Go back to the main Cicada Mysteries page


Hunt

Find

Solve

Do

Link

Home

Copyright 2000 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                       Table of Contents                   Search this Site
Webmaster@SaltTheSandbox.org

Cicada Hunt! is part of the Salt the Sandbox Web. 
For more information visit the Salt the Sandbox home page.

This page was created on August 30, 2000, and it was last updated on July 27, 2002.