Cicada exuvia

Cicada, exuviae

When I originally found this, I had to search online to find out what it was: it’s the exuvia of a cicada of some description.

The main thing that struck me about this thing was the enormous fore-legs, which are an adaptation for digging. You can also see some remaining dried earth stuck to it, from its life underground.

Incidentally, I was once taught to refer to the shed skin of an invertebrate like this as an ‘exuvium’; apparently, this is incorrect – ‘exuvia’ seems to be the correct term, with ‘exuviae’ being the plural, as far as I can tell(!).