9-year-old Arkansas girl catches rare pink grasshopper, names it Millie

Madeline Landecker was walking to her family barn in Benton, Arkansas, on Thursday when the 9-year-old aspiring veterinarian spotted a rare find — the elusive pink grasshopper.

Madeline knew the uniquely colored bug was special thanks to the books she reads pursuing her interest in animals.

“When I was littler, I saw one in a book,” Landecker told NBC News affiliate KARK. “I thought it would be cool to have.”
With her experience, it only took Landecker “a few seconds” to capture the grasshopper and find it was missing a leg. She is keeping the insect at home in a plastic container and has named it Millie.

Landecker took Millie to school the following day to show her classmates. Her friends know her as the “bug expert” because she spends time observing and taking notes on insects.
Everybody thought it was awesome. The teachers were taking pictures,” Landecker said.

Pink grasshoppers are considered rare, according to Penn State University entomology assistant research professor Michael Skvarla. The genetic reason behind the pink color is unclear, but most scientists believe it is a recessive trait similar to albinism.

“The reason pink grasshoppers are so rare is also not known, but it’s likely a combination of uncommon genetics and predation, since pink individuals aren’t camouflaged and are easy for predators to see,” Skvarla added.


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