Nature's Place

Cicada Ladies and Nights

She must have just dug herself from the earth and climbed the rough barked cutting I left against the Hibiscus. As I came along she was getting comfortable, locking onto a leaf. Looking closer I could see she was about to emerge from her old shell of an earth dweller, hard, smooth and bristly with big front digging ‘arms’, to become an air dweller.

Then she started pulsing and I knew a birth that I hadn’t seen before was imminent, so I got the camera.

I sometimes go into the garden at night with a small torch, nothing fancy, to see some nocturnal stuff.


The house where I live is probably one of the original Queenslanders in this area, judging by the condition of some of the wood. And the garden has remnants of the coastal wetland forest it once was. I find all kinds of bugs around the house I would normally expect to find in the nearby forest, reminders of another time.

There are many small Cicadas coming out of the garden at night but this was a big one, about three inches long from nose to wing tips, and it’s rare to catch an emergence like this – for me. I was in position for a few shots and I didn’t want to disturb her and once the process began it didn’t last long, about fifteen minutes before her wings were filled and she was changing colour from the creamy white of a new born.

She climbed slowly out of the old form, filling the new as she went.

The will, a singular focus, unhurried intent.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge