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In many insects the first abdominal segment possesses embryonic appendages called pleuropodia. Here we show the embryogenesis of pleuropodial cells of the periodical cicada, Magicicada cassini (Fisher 1851) (Insecta, Homoptera, Cicadidae). An antibody, anti-horseradish perioxidase (HRP), that is usually neuron-specific strongly marked the pleuropodial anlagen and revealed their ectodermal origin shortly after limb bud formation. Thereafter the cells sank into the epidermis and their apical parts enlarged. A globular part protruded from the body wall. Filamentous structures were marked at the stem region and into the apical dilation. In later embryonic stages the pleuropodia degenerated. Despite the binding of anti-HRP the cells had no morphological neuronal characters and cannot be regarded as neurons. The binding indicates that glycosylated cell surface molecules contribute to the adhesion between the presumably glandular pleuropodial cells. In comparison, anti-HRP does not mark the pleuropodia of Orthoptera.