Prepare to say hello to cleaner windshields and goodbye to a distinct, deafening buzz – for at least four years.
Brood X (“ten”), the noisy group of cicadas plaguing the East Coast and Midwest, will be leaving over the next two weeks.
University of West Virginia mycologists, however, said this appearance revealed some learning lessons. They found several cicadas with “rare” blue eyes (usually they have red eyes). And most importantly for these scientists, they witnessed a wave of public fascination that made interaction with the brood seem “like a team sport”.
“Maybe we hadn’t paid so much attention to it before, but we found several rare blue eyed cicadas which was a real treat for us. We have saved them for use in a future study on eye pigments. “
“Very little is known about blue-eyed cicadas, but here is a resource on the variation that exists: Cicada Mania — eye color.
“There is also a myth that blue eyed cicadas are worth a lot of money. There has been popular coverage debunking this myth. “- Brian Lovett, Postdoctoral Fellow, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
“Although our lab has been obsessed with cicadas and talked about them since 2016, when Brood V appeared in Morgantown, it’s clear Brood X was different to those around us. It was rare not to see at least a few reports per week devoted to periodic cicadas. It was a great opportunity to educate people and share this organic spectacle with those who hesitated about bugs. The combination of Brood X’s vast lineup coupled with the widespread use of community science platforms and social media has made interacting with Brood X more like a team sport. We spent a lot of time in Northern Virginia with cicadas not particularly focused on the fungus but just enjoying their big show. “
“Brood XIV in 2025 is the next time we can expect periodic cicadas in WV and much of the Mid-Atlantic: https://www.cicadamania.com/cicadas/where-will-17-13-year-periodical-cicadas-emerge-next/“- Matt Kasson, Associate Professor of Forest Pathology and Mycology, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design