By Lori Bongiorno
Daniel Tate, an English schoolboy, was looking for grasshoppers at a wildlife event he attended with his great-grandfather last week. But the 11-year old boy and his companions at Seaton Marshes Local Nature Reserve had no idea what a huge surprise they were in for.
Tate saw something pink that he thought was a flower. But when it jumped he knew it was a grasshopper.
It turns out that it was an adult female common green grasshopper that just happened to be born pink.
Experts aren't sure what caused this mutation. Grasshoppers of different colors, including pink, are unusual but not unheard of according to experts. What makes this particular grasshopper so rare is the intensity of the pink, according to Fraser Rush, a nature reserves officer in Britain.
Grasshoppers aren't the only insects that can be pink. Below are a few of nature's brightest examples:
Pink praying mantis
Praying mantis (Photo: Steve Roetz / Flickr)
Dragonfly (Photo: Richard Giddins / Flickr)
Katydid (Photo: Ric McArthur / Flickr)
Pink hummingbird moth
Hummingbird moth (Photo: Jody McNary / Flickr)
Pink grasshopper moth
Another grasshopper (Photo: Tim Parkinson / Flickr)
Most people find insects annoying, but they can certainly benefit people and the planet. Praying mantises, for example, eat ticks, mosquitoes, flies, beetles, and other pests. Fewer mosquitoes and ticks in your backyard translates into fewer applications of toxic bug repellents. Organic gardeners use praying mantises, common ladybugs, and other beneficial insects to control pests as an alternative to pesticides.