Spotted! Rare pink grasshopper seen in Texas


(KXAN/Leah Burns)

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Months after a rare pink grasshopper was found in a KXAN viewer’s garden, one of the insect’s rose-colored cousins has appeared on a viewer’s Dripping Springs porch!

“It was just sitting on my porch,” says Leah Burns, of Dripping Springs. “I was able to come in and get my phone — and the little grasshopper didn’t seem to mind me getting very close! I think it had had enough when I tried to pick it up and it jumped into the grass.”

Now, you may be wondering: can grasshoppers really be pink?

And while they can be, they aren’t very common.

The pink coloration is a genetic mutation, Victoria Hillman with National Geographic says.

Hillman says the mutation is called erythrism, and it’s caused by a recessive gene similar to the one that affects albino animals. It’s unusual and not very understood, she says, even though it was discovered in katydids in 1887. The mutation typically happens in the common meadow grasshopper, Hillman says.

Many pink grasshoppers don’t make it to adulthood because predators can see them easier against plants, Hillman says.

An internet search revealed pink grasshoppers have been seen and documented in the United Kingdom, but hardly any came back as sightings in the United States.

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