The Woman Who Solved a Cicada Mystery—but Got No Recognition

The Woman Who Solved a Cicada Mystery—but Got No Recognition

This spring, the 17-year cicadas of Brood X will emerge from underground, climb tree trunks and molt, leaving their crunchy shells behind. Rather, there are few different cicada species, including the Magicicada septendecim and the Magicicada cassini, each with a different tune. Digging down beneath her fruit trees, Morris had found cicada larvae sucking at the roots, five years before they were scheduled to emerge. We have forgotten Morris and her work for several reasons, one of which involves this cicada species. Given what I know about her, Margaretta Morris likely would not care that the insect she discovered was named for someone else.

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