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Family Finds Mutated, Hot Pink Grasshopper in Their Backyard

An 8-year-old boy was hunting for bugs in his yard in Arkansas City, Kansas, last week when he found something he didn’t expect: a hot pink grasshopper. The bug, he later discovered, has a genetic mutation that makes it a light magenta instead of green. According to Fox News, the boy christened the rare insect “Pinky” and made a makeshift home for it in a jar with leaves, twigs and plenty of water. 

Why the pastel hue? It’s all due to a genetic mutation called erythrism, which ends up causing an “overproduction of red pigment,” explained the American Museum of Natural History in a recent Tweet. Erythrism doesn’t just affect grasshoppers, though. It can occur in a wide variety of animals, and can even result in pinkish fur or feathers. 

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time someone has spotted a pink grasshopper. ​​In late 2022, across the pond in Gwynedd, Wales, conservation officer Ben Murcott spotted not just one but three pink grasshoppers in his garden. That same year, Ohio resident Dirk Parker found one of the rare insects while on a spring walk near his home. He snapped a few photos, then let it go. He later told the Houston Chronicle he regretted releasing the grasshopper. 

“I found out you have a 1% chance of seeing one in your life, and it bugged me all night knowing that I just let it go,” Parker told the publication at the time. (As far as we can tell, his excellent pun was unintended.)  

If you happen upon a pink grasshopper while bug-hunting with your kids, consider yourself extremely lucky. We recommend letting insects go instead of keeping them in captivity, but don’t be shy about capturing a few photos first—you may never see one again.

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