Hot pink grasshopper discovered in Texas

Hot pink grasshopper discovered in Texas
Hot pink grasshopper discovered in Texas

A rare pink grasshopper was discovered in the American city of Austin, Texas. Insects of unusual color rarely reach adulthood, as they become easy prey for predators, according to Newsweek.

An unusual insect was found by a three-year-old boy, his mother managed to photograph a bright grasshopper.

Researchers at the Translyvania Wildlife Project said that the unusual color is the result of a genetic mutation. In one season, the team found 6 such grasshoppers in the early stages of development.

They are so noticeable against the green foliage compared to the common green and brownish insects that they are almost immediately spotted by birds.

WOW! Check out this rare pink grasshopper found in a garden in SW Austin. Have you ever seen something like this? Photo courtesy Allison Barger.

- KXAN News (@KXAN_News) February 16, 2020

The pink insect gets its unique color combination due to a phenomenon known as erythrism, which gives rise to albino animals. Instead of a complete loss of pigmentation, the normal pigment is replaced with a red tint. In humans, erythrism is manifested by the presence of red hair and freckles. In animals, this affects the color of fur, feathers and eggshells.

Some insects at high altitudes can experience melanism, a genetic mechanism that darkens pigmentation to absorb more solar radiation, allowing them to heat up faster.

Sometimes a mutation results in a combination of several factors: a decrease or absence of normal pigment and an excessive formation of other pigments, in this case red, which causes a pink color.

Although rare, erythrism has been observed in the animal kingdom. 4 years ago, a pink meadow grasshopper was caught in the UK. In the summer of 2019, a strawberry-colored leopard was discovered in South Africa.

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