Nature never ceases to amaze us. Both plant and animal species present us with spectacles of beauty and curiosity. In themselves, animals often amaze us with their curious behaviors and qualities, but they become even more wonderful when they get out of the pattern, when they present a chromatism that seems to be unnatural. This is the particular case of the pink grasshopper, whose strange pigmentation attracts us to learn more about this rare insect. If you want to know more, join us in this new Supercurious article.
The pink grasshopper, one of the rarest and most curious insects
While it is true that there are many curious animals in the world, very few are pink. In fact, pink nature is so rare that when it does occur, it is a marvelous sight.
This coloration can be very beautiful, but it also makes them stand out, thus being a focus for predators and hunters. Such is the case of the pink dolphin, which has re-entered the list of animals in danger of extinction.
For its part, the pink grasshopper is not in danger, since have been able to reproduce easily in captivity. It should be noted that it is more likely to see them in unnatural conditions, since they are very rare in nature.
1. Characteristics of the pink grasshopper
The pink grasshopper, also known as Euconocephalus thunbergi, is a longicorn grasshopper, belonging to one of the orthoptera families.
Definitely, this is one of the rare insects in the world, since its pink coloration is due to a rare genetic mutation called erythrism (erythrism), which is very similar to the condition that causes albinism in animals and causes a peculiar reddish coloration.
One of the characteristics that the more than 6,400 species of grasshoppers have in common is that they have cryptic colors. That is, they have adapted to go unnoticed by other predatory animals. For example, in the case of longicorn grasshoppers, they tend to blend in with the leaves, so they usually have green and brown colors.
For this reason, the striking color of the pink grasshopper makes it easy prey. However, experts believe that this coloration arose at the time for this grasshopper to It will mimic some specific type of reddish-colored plants. There are very few pink grasshoppers in the world today, as only a few make it to adulthood, due to predators.
On the other hand, and like other grasshoppers, they are nocturnal animals and on summer nights it is easy to hear their call in the form of strident sounds. That call can be both with reproductive purpose as territorial, aggressive or defensive.
In many places, they are known as “mountain crickets.” The pink grasshopper is similar to a common grasshopper: They can also reach a size between 5.7 and 6.5 centimeters in length, they have 3 pairs of legs, 1 pair of antennae and 2 pairs of wings, which protect them and help them jump further. Likewise, these usually live about 16 weeks, if they are not predated before.
2. About its habitat
As we mentioned, these rare insects are very rare, but they are usually found in the devon county woodlandsEngland, and in some parts of Portugal.
This insect was seen for the first time in 1887, in the county mentioned. And since then, their sightings have been sporadic, but varied, as some have been seen in both Asia and the United States, among other places.
Beyond their sightings, these insects are, like any other grasshopper and they prefer open and dry spaces.
Interestingly, the reproductive rate of these insects is not very high, since it has been found that, naturally, they reproduce only once every 500 individuals.
This in terms of its natural habitat. Well, on the other hand, these pink grasshoppers they have been able to reproduce in captivity, especially in the New Orleans insectiary.
3. Why are they pink?
In nature there are certain colors that do not predominate, especially in the skin of animals, these are usually the most striking colors that can present a danger, especially for prey animals.
However, in nature we have found fascinating cases, such as blue animals, which have made their way through nature to amaze us. In the same way, the pink color has been reflected in different animals, but what is it due to?
As we mentioned previously, there are those who believe that pink grasshoppers are the product of a case of erythrism, which can be caused by a genetic mutation in which one of two happens: there is an excess or a shortage of some of the natural pigments.
In this case the red pigment (although some scientists prefer brown.) But this phenomenon can also be due to a diet based on red foods.
However, other scientists have pointed out that they don’t think the pink grasshopper belongs in this category. According to them, their pigmentation may be due to a natural adaptation that, while making them more conspicuous, also makes them less provocative to predators. Similarly, it may be an adaptation to camouflage within the flowers.
To conclude, according to the scientist Victoria Hillman, who published her experience with pink grasshoppers in a National Geographic articleIf these insects manage to reach their adult stage, two things can happen:
First of all, most likely begin to lose their pink pigmentation, which would explain why very few of these insects are seen and in their nymphal state. Or, on the contrary, stay pink with some variations, but everything remains to be seen, since they are a understudied species.
The case of the pink grasshopper is very particular, because, although they survive very little in their natural environment, it seems that they are not entirely doomed to die, since lScience has allowed them to reproduce easily, even if it is not naturally.
What do you think about this aspect? Do you think that it is still a species that is doomed to extinction? Share it with us! And, if you want to know other rare animals, we invite you to read about The Bobbit Worm.