Aug 26, 2010 9:40 PM by Alison Haynes
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - It's the prettiest bug in town - bubblegr discrimination,
gly rare and was likely headed for an early demise in
a bird's beak.
That is until Kay Hrycko stumbled upon the shockingly pink
katydid in the yard of her Springfield Township home on Tuesday.
"We were walking around looking at the logs and happened to see
this katydid on one of the rocks," Hrycko said. "It was real
obvious. We all said 'Pink!"'
Katydids are typically green to blend in with foliage but
occasionally one will have a mutation that renders it pink. While
pleasing to the eye, the color makes it stand out like a daily
special on a restaurant menu for predators.
"That will mark it as dinner for birds," said Chuck Holliday,
a Lafayette College biology professor with expertise in insects.
After discovering the colorful critter, Hrycko collected it in a
yogurt container and is keeping it safe inside. She said her
13-year-old son, Cody, hopes to take it to school next week for his
mes The major difference between pink katydids and their more common
green counterparts is apparently the lack of dark pigment called
melanin, the same pigment that makes a panther black.
The coloration was first noted in scientific literature in 1878.
The only known genetic study was published in 1916.
The U.S. name "katydid" comes from the male's loud mating
call, produced by rubbing its forewings together - groups of three
and four evenly spaced noises that people imitated as "Katy did.
Katy didn't. Katy didn't. Katy did."
Pink katydids have been found, albeit rarely, from Pennsylvania
to Michigan to Louisiana.