Cicadas live underground as nymphs for most of their lives (apparently 7 years for the Japanese ones), at depths ranging from about 30 centimetres (0.98 ft) down to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft). The nymphs feed on xylem sap from roots and have strong front legs for digging.
In the final nymphal instar, they construct an exit tunnel to the surface and emerge. They then moult (shed their skins) on a nearby plant for the last time and emerge as adults. The exuvia, or abandoned exoskeleton, remains, still clinging to walls or the bark of trees.
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