You’ve probably seen their shells stuck to pine tree bark…..and wondered if small aliens had landed!
The brown things are the exoskeletons of dog-day cicadas, also called “July flies”. They take from two to five years to complete their metamorphosis. The different broods of these annual cicadas overlap, so the noisy adults are present every year.
The nymphs develop in the soil and emerge in mid-summer. You hear much of their racket in the dog days of July and August.
My friend Doug A. has documented the entire process of a cicada emerging from its skin.
17 Year Cicadas