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Monday, May 17, 2010

Photos of the Very Rare Pink Katydid

by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA

very rare pink katydid profile photo

Photo via Flickr

What you are looking at is the very rare and very pink katydid. First discovered back in 1887, the pink katydid is so rare that they occur once out of every 500 individuals. You have a better chance of spotting a unicorn in the wild.

Of course, the color pink alone isn't very common to the animal kingdom, flamingos aside. It's the result of a condition called erythrism, similar to the recessive gene that afflicts albino animals.

very rare pink katydid photo

Katydids are large, leaf-shaped and usually green. They are named after a song they sing: katy did katy did katy did. Their green skin makes them somewhat hard to find for insect-chowing predators. But the pink ones are not afforded the same luxury.

While people have tried to produce pink katydids in captivity, there had been little success until last year. The New Orleans Audubon Insectarium had acquired both a pink male and a pink female katydid which resulted in a litter of new pink babies.

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very rare pink katydid photo

very rare pink katydid photo

Photo via Photobucket

very rare pink katydid photo

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


birdman May 27, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

I took a slide of a pink katydid at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the early 1980s. Spectacular. Haven't seen one since, except for just happening on this site today.