DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – It was a one-in-a-million find. Literally.
Most of the 17-year cicadas that have emerged in recent weeks in parts of the Midwest have red eyes. But a 6-year-old boy in this Chicago suburb found a rare blue-eyed one in his backyard Friday.
Nicholas Wagner's mother, Maria, said her son learned about the blue-eyed bugs in kindergarten, so he decided to go out and hunt for one himself.
"`Mommy, I found a blue-eyed cicada!"' he yelled upon the discovery, his mother recalled. "He's been looking for a long time."
While the boy's find was rare, it's not unheard of.
The blue eyes are caused by a genetic variation, said Gene Kritsky, author of "Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle."
Blue-eyed cicadas are indeed one in a million, Kritsky confirmed. "Of course," he added, "there are hundreds of millions of cicadas."