Pink grasshopper
Pink grasshopper found in Springfield, La

Father & son find rare pink grasshopper in garden

SPRINGFIELD — What started as just another day cutting the grass in Springfield, Louisiana, ended with a family finding a rare pink grasshopper eating their corn stalk.

“My fiancé said he had been mowing and noticed it on one of our corn plants but he was like, ‘No way that’s pink and no way it’s there.’ So he kept mowing and then two hours later when he went back to water our garden, him and one of my sons saw the pink stranger eating literally the whole corn stalk and came running inside with it!” said Raegan Mccaleb.

Pink grasshopper
Pink grasshopper found in Springfield, La

Mccaleb says her fiancé and son were so excited over the rare find that the first thing they did was rush inside to show her.

“When he came inside with it, I freaked out because 1) It’s pink!!! and 2) I wore a pink shirt to work and brought them all home a pink Prime (drink) and 3) we have been looking for good luck signs from God and it seems like this was it,” said Raegan Mccaleb. “So, in a two-hour timeframe, he ate the whole plant!”

How rare are pink grasshoppers?

“We do occasionally get reports of the pink grasshoppers,” said Aaron Ashbrook, assistant professor at the LSU Department of Entomology.

Ashbrook explained that this specific insect is actually a katydid, also known as a long-horned grasshopper. They’re related to crickets and grasshoppers, but closer to the cricket. They’re known for their antennae, large hind legs and mating calls.

“They’re related insects, but they are different. They are both jumping insects. Now we do occasionally get reports of both pink grasshoppers and pink katydids. They are somewhat rare, but they do occur in nature. They do think it is related to genetics underlying the condition,” said Ashbrook.

Pink coloration is seen in 1 in every 500 katydids. What makes them pink a rare genetic mutation called Erythrism, this is also compared to the recessive gene that causes the albino affect. The genetic mutation does not have anything to do with the environment, gender, or age of the katydid.

Ashbrook also explained that while they do not know the exact cause for the genetic mutation, a theory is that the pink pigmentation could be more difficult for predators to see.

As for the Mccaleb family, they’re hoping to hold on to their lucky and rare find!

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