Extremely rare pink grasshopper discovered in garden
A British woman came across a rare sight in her grandmother's garden in Gloucestershire: a pink grasshopper.
Kate Culley, 41, was helping the family out when she noticed the unusually coloured insect.
"I was surprised — you don't expect to see a pink grasshopper," she said in an interview with SWNS. "It was unusual, I've never seen one like that before."
It's not the first time someone has come across one. In a 2013 blog post for National Geographic, researcher Victoria Hillman wrote that she and her team found six pink grasshoppers.
"I certainly hadn't and didn't even know you could have a pink grasshopper, let alone actually see one for real in the wild!" she wrote. "They do exist but rarely make it to adulthood as they are easily picked off by predators as they are so conspicuous against the green foliage compared to the normal green and brownish morphs which is one of the reasons they are hardly ever seen."
Pink grasshoppers are the result of erythrism — a genetic mutation that is caused by a recessive gene that's similar to the one that leads to albinism. Creatures that have erythrism produce a higher level of red pigmentation, whereas albinism is characterised by the lack of colour.