Natural history news for the busy Singaporean
- highlighting talks, books, events and issues, in nature, biology and the environment.

Home - NUS - RMBR

Subscribe for the 'day after' email summary!

Mammal Records
Click to submit

Fauna & Flora Records
Click to submit

International Year of Biodiversity 2010

Click to find out more


The Biodiversity Crew
biodiversity research
@ the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Raffles Museum Toddycats

* News
* Parliament
* Terrestrial & Freshwater
* Marine
* Coastal Cleanup
* Environment
* Heritage
* Animal welfare
* Wildlife trade

* Events & Activities
* Talks & Seminars
* TV & Radio
* Books

* Articles - Photos
* Internet - Software
* Archives (2000-2003)
* Archives (2004-)
* About - Errata

Subscribe to the
monthly newsletter

Events in Singapore

What's On

* Raffles Museum News
* NUS Biodiversity
* WildSingapore News
* EcoNews (regional)

* Habitatnews
* Ecotax

Mailing Lists
* Nature Singapore
* Singapore Heritage

By Habitatnews

* Pulau Ubin Stories
* Labrador Park
* The Biology Refugia
* Otterman speaks
* Cycling in Singapore

By others
* Wild Shores of Singapore*WS*
* Pulau Hantu Blog
* Bird Ecology*NSS*
* Wild Lives(NDP2004)*WS*
* More...


* Marine Life here?
* Pulau Hantu Blog
* Southern Shores*WS*
* Mandai Mangroves * Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin

* Changi Heritage
* Kent Ridge Heritage
* Sembawang Heritage
* Pulau Ubin stories

* Mangroves of Singapore
* Coral Reefs of Singapore

Strategies and Plans
* Sustainable Development Blueprint
* IYOR Blue Plan


For general feedback about policies: go to REACH

Sembawang Tides:
Today, 2009 (iCal available)
Weather (NEA)

Local Groups/Sites


N. Sivasothi,
a.k.a. Otterman,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

Made on a Mac with
Claris Home Page 3.0.
Blog engine: Samizdat,
based on PHPosxom,
based on Blosxom.

What is a weblog?
Start your own.

Get Firefox!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Archives - Nature Links - Submit Mammal Records - Blog RSS Feed - Comments RSS - Email me

News about nature and the environment in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : errata * about * map * cycling * events * marine * animalwelfare * envt * jobs * research * talks * photos * coastalcleanup * news * education * cameratraps * tvradio * internet * software * nature * malaysia * books * heritage * trade * stamps * articles * parliament * conceptplan * world *

Thu 31 Mar 2005

Hundred(s) of cicada moults on Pulau Ubin

Category : nature

Most of us have heard the drone-like calls of cicadas in our forests but rarely seen them. They have an interesting life cycle which takes them from tree root to tree-top.

Eggs are laid in small grooves cut into tree bark or shoots. When the eggs hatch, the larvae drop to the ground and burrow into the soil. Feeding on the sap of tree roots, the larvae or nymphs grow each time they shed their exoskeleton (moult). Unlike butterflies, they do not undergo complete metamorphosis so there is no pupal stage, and the nymphs look very much like the adults.

Upon maturity, the cicada nymphs emerge from the soil as a group and climb up trees. They shed their exoskeleton for the final time (terminal moult) and emerge as winged-adult cicadas, leaving behind moult skins we may see on tree trunks in forest, which are light-weight, translucent, and which retain the morphological details right down to the fine hairs!

Up in the tree canopy, the cicadas feed and the resulting spray can be quite noticeable - see this report from Labrador Park from June 2004.

Meanwhile, the din we hear are of the males calling for a mate - hence we hear cicadas rather than see them. We do see moults once in awhile and very rarely see the actual insect.

Chim Chee Kong was fortunate recently in encountering a "cicada exoskeleton graveyard" left behind after the terminal moults of an emerging cicada nymph brood! He wrote -

"Hi Siva,

I was cycling in Pulau Ubin on Good Friday (25 Mar 2005) when I saw a hundred or more (could be in the hundreds!) moulted exoskeletons of cicadas left behind on tree trunks (e.g. Angsana) and underside of leaves (e.g. Rubber).

I could not see the cicadas themselves (except for one that was left behind), but they were making deafening music all around me!

The exact location is a shaded area on gravel path after the "3 bridges" (a Pedal Ubin term referring to the area between Sungei Besar and the prawn ponds) leading to Jalan Noordin.

Chee Kong"

Chee Kong included four photos of moults on trees and several closeups. They have been posted to Habitatnews' Flickr account.

Read about the 17-year periodical cicada, in particular, Brood X which emerged last year in the US - link.

Posted at 5:34AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news