We’re not sure what cicada species this shed exoskeleton belongs to, but it is a very cool find that marks the transition from life underground to aboveground. We have 17 different species of cicadas in Montana that spend two to five years living underground in the nymph stage, feeding on tree roots. Once they emerge, their lives are short and focused on mating and laying eggs for the next generation.They are the only insect with a true percussion mechanism for sound. Males have a special ribbed membrane that is vibrated with their strong muscles, making a rapid buzzing or clicking sound that is amplified by their air-filled abdomen.

Photo by: Monica Haaland on 6/5/21 near Eureka, MT