Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Terpnosia Vacua

A sure sign that the dog-days of summer are approaching, this is the discarded exoskeleton of a Cicada, Terpnosia Vacua. Immature Cicada nymphs live underground where they suck sap from the roots of trees and shrubs. When they approach maturity, they dig to the surface (hence the clawlike front feet) and molt into winged adults, leaving the exoskeleton behind. In Japan, the cidaca is associated with the summer season and the songs of the cicada are often used in film and television to indicate summer scenes. It is also a pastime for children to collect both cicadas and the shells left behind when molting. Bug collecting in general is popular with little tikes, I often see them dragging their parents through train stations equipped with plastic collection boxes, nets, and other tools for weekend hunts. For the city dwellers the pet shops offer beetles and some other native insects for sale as pets.

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