Extremely rare pink grasshopper discovered by Devon schoolgirl

  • Take a look at this ultra-rare pink grasshopper found in Devon

An extremely rare pink grasshopper has been discovered in the garden of a Devon home.

Six-year-old Ava Howes shocked her mum when she announced that she had caught a pink grasshopper in her garden.

Mum Emma said: “Ava came in and said 'Mummy, I’ve caught a pink grasshopper’, and I was like, 'yeah of course you have'. But she really had, I was like 'oh my God'.”

I is estimated that there is only a 1% chance of seeing a pink grasshopper during a person’s lifetime.

The green Meadow Grasshopper species, which is a common sight in the UK, are usually green, brown or a combination of the two, so they can blend into their background, making it much more likely to evade capture.

However, due to their bright colouring, pink grasshoppers rarely survive in the wild as they stand out and are easily spotted by predators.

What makes a grasshopper pink?

It is believed to be a genetic mutation that causes grasshoppers to turn pink, known as erythrism which causes a reddish discolouration. The mutation results in the animal overproducing red pigments and underproduces dark pigments and is the same genetic variation that causes red hair in people.

Emma admitted that she is obsessed with her garden and flowers, but said the grasshopper was spotted away from the array of natural coverage in the garden. Ava was playing in the garden when she saw the animal on the step to its home and caught it with a glass from the kitchen.

After capturing the pink grasshopper and documenting the find with pictures, Ava and her mum released the insect, which they called Lucellia, back into the garden on a leaf.