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Pink Grasshopper

Pink Grasshopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This bright Pink Grasshopper is enough to make anyone jump” – and I didn’t find in the jungles of Borneo or Brazil but in Thomastown, County Kilkenny. When I first found ‘Mr. Pink’, I contacted the Irish Wildlife Trust straight away, thinking that my name would go down in the annals of Irish wildlife history but unfortunately for me, I was informed that it is not a rare species but it is a very unusual colour, which makes it a very rare, interesting and strange find. It’s colour, in terms of percentage in normal Meadow Grasshoppers is less than one percent. Most grasshopper species in Ireland are greenish-brown in colour, but some have genetics that can make them pink or purple-red. It is called erythrism, which is an unusual and little-understood genetic mutation caused by a recessive gene similar to that which affects albino animals. The combination of red hair and freckles in humans is thought to be a form of erythrism, too. These grasshoppers tend not to make it to adulthood or survive for long in the wild as predators easily spot them, so it was a treat for me to see and photograph a grasshopper as beautiful as this one. I suppose if it was found in a field of pink flowers, this Pink Grasshopper would have a distinct advantage. PS: this photograph was voted the Irish National Winner in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards and also graced the cover of the Irish Wildlife Magazine.