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If someone had told me before last Saturday that there was such a thing as a pink grasshopper living in Wales, I would’ve laughed and assumed they were having me on … but, as they say, seeing is believing.

160602 Meadow grasshopper (1)

This is another of the amazing creatures I encountered at Kenfig National Nature Reserve last weekend. It’s a Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus), a common species throughout Europe and in parts of Asia. With its lake and ponds, and its frequently damp dune slacks, Kenfig has the perfect habitat for this grasshopper which prefers moist vegetation rather than a dry environment. Although green is the most common colour, the Meadow grasshopper can also be completely or partially brown, a reddish-purple and, yes, pink. It appears that the pink colour is a result of a genetic mutation during the reproductive cycle, similar to that which causes albinism. And it is definitely a she as, apparently, only the females are affected by this recessive gene.

160602 Meadow grasshopper (2)