Wildlife Wednesday 04/24/2024

Happy #WildlifeWednesday! Grasshoppers are quite common throughout Ohio and can be seen or heard in a variety of habitats, but it’s not every day that you see one with dashing shades of pink. Meet this stunning, green-striped grasshopper, Chortophaga viridifasciata, found at The Wilderness Center last week. Is there something wrong with this colorful critter? No, just a rare genetic variation, characterized by an unusual reddish or pinkish hue called erythrism. The only issue this may cause is making the task of avoiding predators a little bit more complicated for this critter.

 So, what are the chances of stumbling across one of these pink marvels? It’s around 1%, but given that some grasshopper species lay hundreds of eggs a year, your chances are much better than if you were trying to find a raccoon or a rabbit with this same condition.

 Green-striped grasshoppers prefer relatively moist areas with a short to medium grass height, such as roadsides and meadows. This species is normally green or brown and around one inch in length. Finding one of these grasshoppers can be tough, but the more you look the better your chances are at finding one.

April is citizen science month and can be a great way to track a cool find like this grasshopper. Check out The Wilderness Center’s iNaturalist project and help contribute to interesting finds right here at TWC. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-wilderness-center

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