DIY mystery on the playground

Who is making this fortification out of mud balls?  And why?

Standing around staring at the mudpile at the tunnel opening we were guessing the builder was a misguided crawdad. Instead, it seems to be a cicada nymph emerging. In the second photo the critter is pushing a mud-ball into place at the top of the tunnel.
But why would an emerging cicada bother enlarging its tunnel and making a fort around the entrance?  Is it planning to flip this remodeled home? We watched the critter come to the surface many times and push a slimy mud ball into place.  Then it would disappear back down into the tunnel for a long time.

Nature is just so very weird!

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I'm weird, too! (Naturally.)


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