Exoskeleton of a last instar leafhopper on the underside of an oak leaf. Similar to other exmples in this gallery, the mouthparts are imbedded into the main vein to anchor the insect to the leaf. In addition, the six legs are grasping the sides of the vein to further improve attachment to the leaf. This makes it easier for the adult to separate from the old skeleton. The split along the head and thorax is where the adult literally walked out of its' own skin. The oval structure lateral on the thorax contained the folded-up wings. The new adult was white, soft, and vulnerable until the body shell hardened and the wings were completely unfolded and ready to support flight.
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From Small Wonders