Norwich photographer tickled pink by odd insect find

Pink grasshopper. Pic: Chris Jarvis. Pink grasshopper. Pic: Chris Jarvis.

Peter Walsh peter.walsh@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
12:28 PM

An amateur photographer was tickled pink to have discovered an oddly-coloured creature in Norwich and hopes it won’t be the last lifeform less ordinary he captures on camera.

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Chris Jarvis, 35, took up photography at the end of last year and has already snapped all manner of weird and wonderful things – but never a pink grasshopper.

But that is exactly what he caught on camera after spotting it in the grass at the back of the factory where he works on Old Stoke Road, Arminghall, near Norwich, last week.

Mr Jarvis, from Beeching Road, who works as a chemical technician at Syfer Technology Limited, said: “I was just taking pictures and saw this jump in front of me and thought ‘that’s a bit strange’.

“I’ve been doing photography for a while now, but I’ve not seen anything like that before. I got pictures of a male and female so I know there’s definitely more potential for more pink ones.”

Since starting to pursue an interest in photography in October last year, Mr Jarvis said he had taken a picture of a lot of small bugs and “strange things” but admitted this was by far the strangest – which is why he contacted us.

He said: “I just thought that can’t be common as I had never seen them before.”

David Richmond, a county recorder for the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalist Society, said the find was not as rare as Mr Jarvis might have thought.

He said: “This is a nymph of a common green grasshopper.

“Pink forms are not unusual but regularly attract media attention. Its colours will tone down somewhat by the time it reaches its fully winged adult form.

“What is interesting is that it seems to have selected a reddish coloured substrate to rest upon, 
as if it is aware of its lurid colour and is trying to melt into the background to reduce the risk of predation.”

Andrew Bourke, professor of evolutionary biology at the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, said: “I don’t know how rare this form is (the species itself is quite common), but I’ve never seen an example before.

“It’s certainly very striking.”

Have you got a wildlife story for us? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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