Subject:  Pink Grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Osaka Japan
Date: 06/23/2018
Time: 09:45 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I found this beautiful little (1.5 cm) guy trying to hide in some tall grass & wondered if it was one of the rare pink grasshoppers I’ve been reading about, or a normal nymph coloration. Can you help me identify it? Thank you very much for your time!
How you want your letter signed:  Karen

Pink Grasshopper Nymph

Dear Karen,
This really is a pretty little Grasshopper.  All we can state for certain at this time is that it is an immature Grasshopper.  The pink coloration might be normal, it might be a variation (many Orthopterans exhibit unusual pink coloration, especially Katydids), or it might be due to recent molting as the insect’s exoskeleton darkens as it hardens after molting as this unrelated Wheel Bug illustrates.  Kotaku has an image of a different looking pink Grasshopper and provides this information:  “A sixth grader in Gunma Prefecture, Japan recently discovered a pink grasshopper—which is “extremely rare.” It and the boy ended up on NHK, the country’s equivalent of the BBC.  As The Huffington Post points out, not much is known about pink grasshoppers other than it’s thought the mutation is caused due to the grasshopper having too much red pigment and not enough black pigment.”  Though it is not from Japan, Daily Mail has a nice image of an immature pink Grasshopper.  In our opinion, that bold white stripe might be a better identification feature, but we were unable to locate any similar images based on that feature.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Thank you so much for the quick response. I have also not been able to identify it based on the white stripe, but will continue my research. Thanks again, I really appreciate the time & effort you put into this site!

Possible ID for “Pink grasshopper nymph from Japan” (June 23)

— Your letter to the bugman —

I believe this is a nymph of the Rice Grasshopper, Oxya japonica, or a closely related species. See the probable nymph at Nature Love You, the mating pairs at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Oxya_japonica#/media/File:Oxya_japonica_DSCN9954.JPG and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Oxya_japonica#/media/File:Oxya_japonica_DSCN9970.JPG, the adult eating at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Oxya_japonica#/media/File:Locust_eating_grass_Oxya_japonica_DSCN0006_07_15.JPG, and the adult female at Flickr. Yours,
Randy

Location: Osaka, Japan

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