Friday, 12 January 2018

Gambolling near Mt Garnet, Part 2

On 10 November 2018 Buck Richardson and I were wandering around Nymbool Rd near Mt Garnet, Queensland taking photos of insects and enjoying the bush. Shortly after dark the weather turned to light showers, not wet enough to curtail activities. Shortly thereafter we noted a mass emergence of cicadas in some open bushland. Within a hour there were dozens of cicadas making their way to the surface of the ground in the humid, wind-free conditions. We followed a few individuals from the time we saw them until the adult appeared. Max Moulds identified the cicada as Macrotristria intersecta.

Here are a few of the photos from the emergence.
Coming out of the ground this nymph has grasped a twig and will continue to moult to adulthood. It is subject to predation during this time. Ants, Cane Toads, rodent, birds as well as predatory insects can interfere with this process. Fire and extreme weather can also take its toll. The cicadas have numbers on their side so that if a few are sacrificed a few will survive to carry on the population.

You can see the beak (feeding tube) between the first 2 pair of legs
Newly emerged after 1.5 hours or so. Now for the wings to harden and it will be ready to take to flight in the morning.
Hardening up

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