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Cicada Exoskeleton.  Depending on the species, cicadas spend 2 to 17 years underground as nymphs, feeding on tree roots.  When they are ready to emerge as adults, the climb out of the ground, usually onto a tree.  They molt by splitting open the backs of their brown and brittle exoskeletons, and wiggling out.  They live for about six weeks, buzzing, mating, and laying eggs on tree branches.  When the eggs hatch, the tiny nymphs drop and bury underground to repeat the life cycle. 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes