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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Rare blue-eyed cicada spotted during 2024 emergence at suburban Chicago arboretum – Republic World

By Vaseline May26,2024

Rare blue-eyed cicada spotted during 2024 emergence in suburban Chicago | Image:AP

It was late morning when Morton Arboretum senior horticulturist Kate Myroup arrived at the Children’s Garden with a special guest: a rare, blue-eyed female Magicicada cassini cicada, spotted by a visitor earlier in the day.

A lucky few spotted the cicada on Friday in Morton, Illinois, before it was released back into the world in a Chicago suburb to join its red-eyed relatives, the most common species for most cicada species now that the rise of the cicada will take off in 2024.

When the fence opened, the blue-eyed lady fled into a tree. The unique insect then flew down and landed on the pants of plant health leader Stephanie Adams. Intrigued young guests took photos.

“It’s a job loss,” said Adams, who is regularly decorated with the insects.

Floyd W. Shockley, collections manager of the Smithsonian Institute’s Department of Entomology, said the blue-eyed cicada is rare, but exactly how rare is uncertain.

“It’s impossible to estimate how rare that is, because you would have to collect all the crickets to know what percentage of the population has the blue eye mutation,” he said.

Periodical cicadas appear every 13 or 17 years. So far, only the 17-year-old brood is starting to show up in places as far north as Lisle, Illinois, where three different species burrow out of the ground, attach themselves to trees, shed their exoskeletons and put on a show.

“The look of it on the trees, just the volume of it, looks like science fiction,” Adams said. “It’s definitely something to see.”

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