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
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
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
< 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:
NEXT: Where did our cicada killer wasps dig their burrows?
Go back to the main Cicada Mysteries page
Copyright 2000 Eric D. Gyllenhaal
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This page was created on August 30, 2000, and it was last updated on July 27, 2002.