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  • Adult cicada emerging from burrow and shredding skin.
    Rights: wild_wind, CC BY-NC 4.0 Published 3 November 2019 Size: 620 KB Referencing Hub media

    Māori name: kihikihi-wawā

    Family: Cicadidae

    While we think of cicadas as loud, flying insects, they actually spend most of their lives underground. Females lay eggs on plants, and the larvae hatch, fall down and burrow into the ground. On summer nights, these cicadas emerge from their burrows to shed their skins. No one knows how long this species stays under the ground, but in other species, it can be several years. Cicadas belong to the Hemiptera order of insects.

    Image of adult cicada emerging, sourced from iNaturalistNZ, © wild_wind, CC BY-NC 4.0

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