There are 800 species of cicada in Australia and I have no idea which species this quite large exuviae belongs to. This is the shed outer cuticle of a cicada nymph, left after the adult has emerged. You can see the slit down the back through which it has pushed itself out. There is also some soil still adhering to the cuticle behind the eye, a reminder that the nymphs live underground and only come out to transform into adults. I photographed it on a fern in Ravensbourne National Park, a remnant rainforest habitat near Toowoomba.
It rouhgly looks like the shells left by the 13-year and 17-year cicadas here in Virginia. Can you imagine living that long underground? What do they do for entertainement or food?
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