Friday, July 16, 2010

Shell of my Former Self

While watering the eggplants earlier this week I discovered a very strange looking insect on the underside of one of the leaves. Ok, I admit it: I squealed like a schoolgirl and jumped back. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I had to check it out. I needed to know if this thing was going to be competing with me for the vegetables.

I have no idea what kind of bug it is, but it appears to be a shell. The owner must have shed it (molted?) and has hopefully moved on. Far, far away.

I wasn't able to find the opening in the shell where he/she emerged from, which is a bit puzzling, but it is hollow and there hasn't been any movement in 3 days. Not that I'm checking or anything.

Those pincers look pretty mean.

Edited to add: Thank you, google! It's actually a cicada, or as we used to call them growing up: a "heat bug". Harmless to humans and also gardens, though they can damage trees when boring holes in which to lay their eggs. Apparently, they are eaten in some countries, the female cicada being the more meaty and tasty. Yum, yum.


CL said...

They are quite common here. I had a dog that captured one in her mouth and you could hear it buzzing from her mouth.

Shannon said...

they are all over here - Gregg brought a shell in the other day and sat it on my shoulder. my own little pet. :)

CowTown said...

That's crazy!!! That thing in the picture is a hollow shell, there's no buh in there? That is really nasty! I've never seen one, and I'm feeling lucky about that. Ew.