Saturday 24 June 2017

Pink grasshopper seen in Salford

A pink female meadow grasshopper nymph photographed by Dr Luke Blazejewski in a brownfield site in Salford, Greater Manchester (Dr Luke Blazejewski/PA)
A pink female meadow grasshopper nymph photographed by Dr Luke Blazejewski in a brownfield site in Salford, Greater Manchester (Dr Luke Blazejewski/PA)
An unusual pink grasshopper, similar to this one, was spotted in Manchetser (East Devon District Council/PA)

A shocking pink grasshopper would look more at home in the rainforest - but the rare insect has in fact been spotted in Manchester.

As sun-worshippers enjoy lazy days on the grass during the current heatwave, the female meadow grasshopper nymph has been spotted crawling through the brambles in inner-city Salford, Greater Manchester.

The picture was taken by independent film maker Dr Luke Blazejewski, who has been specialising in urban wildlife in the city for seven years after completing his Masters degree and Phd in urban wildlife at Salford University.

He found the pretty pink insect whilst exploring a brownfield site in Salford and said he was "amazed" by the sighting.

Dr Blazejewski said: "All around me I could hear the distinctive buzzing of grasshoppers, when suddenly a flash of pink shot out in front of me, and I couldn't believe my eyes."

He said that although meadow grasshoppers are amongst some of the more common grasshoppers in the UK with their nymphs usually green or brown in colour, seeing a pink one is "very rare".

He added: "The pink comes from a genetic mutation known as erythrism, where there is an absence of the normal pigment and/or the over-production of another pigment - in this case, a red pigment, which results in pink morphs."

He added: "I am still amazed at the diversity of life you can find in a post-industrial city. I love exploring brownfield sites because they are so untamed - like urban rainforests right on our doorstep."

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