A Rare Genetic Mutation has Turned a Grasshopper Pink in Austwell, Texas
Ahh, the grasshopper, our favorite jumping friends of spring and summer. They can be a very pretty mixture of green and yellow. Some are a plain brown. Thanks to a genetic mutation called erythrism, Texas residents have been seeing some pink grasshoppers the last couple of years. The most recent was seen in Austwell, Texas along the coast.
Pink Grasshopper Sightings in Texas
In 2020, a couple of pink grasshoppers were spotted in Texas, one in Austin and another in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin. Then in 2022, there was another sighting in East Texas. Dirk Parker was working in Wood County when he stumbled across a pink grasshopper.
Now, another of these rare pink grasshoppers has been spotted in Austwell, Texas, which sits on Hynes Bay along the Texas coast about 40 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Austwell is also home to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge where this pink grasshopper was spotted.
We spotted this pink grasshopper (we believe it's a green-striped grasshopper) in the observation tower parking lot earlier this week! While rare, this pink coloration is actually due to a genetic mutation called erythrism and is caused by the overproduction of red pigments and the underproduction of dark pigments. Because these bright pink 'hoppers are not well-camouflaged, they're much more likely to be eaten by predators. Good luck, little one! - Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook
So how does a grasshopper turn pink?
It's a rare genetic mutation called erythrism, similar to an albino animal. It's not exactly a good thing to be a pink grasshopper, either. They are less disguised from their predators and more likely to become dinner.
Be on the lookout when inspecting your gardens or flower beds and see if you can spot this rarity of nature.