A woman went on what she thought would be an ordinary walk during her lunch break only to spot an incredibly rare insect.
Leonie Verkerk, 33, was shocked to see a grasshopper that was a vivid shade of pink instead of the insect’s typical green coloring.
Verkerk, an asbestos survey administrator, at first thought the creature was a caterpillar due to its unique coloring. Once she got closer, though, she realized it was a grasshopper, SWNS reported.
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The resident of Alvaston, Derby, England, told the British news service she had her sunglasses on and was walking when the insect caught her eye on the ground.
“I’m a bit of a nerd and I look for insects anyway, but when I saw it I thought it was a caterpillar at first,” she recalled.
Verkerk said she was “shocked” to see it was really a grasshopper.
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The chances of seeing a pink grasshopper in one’s lifetime are thought to be roughly 1% — a statistic that Verkerk said she has heard before.
“I knew they existed because I’d read something about them before, but it wasn’t until I googled [them that] I realized they’re so rare,” she recalled to SWNS.
The lunch break walker said she tried to pick up the insect, but it “hopped off.”
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This is not the first time a rare pink grasshopper has been spotted in nature.
An 8-year-old in Arkansas City, Kansas, spotted one in his family’s yard earlier this year — and kept it in a jar with access to leaves, food and water, according to reporting from John Shelman of The Cowley CourtierTraveler, a local news outlet.
Pink grasshoppers have a rosy hue due to erythrism, a genetic mutation that results in the “overproduction of red pigment,” according to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).
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Erythrism can result in the reddish appearance of hair, skin, fur, feathers and eggshells in mammals, avian animals and several other wild creatures, Encylopedia.com reported.
Pink grasshoppers have a hard time surviving long in the wild because their “vivid coloring” makes hiding from predators a more challenging task, according to the AMNH.
Fox News Digital staff contributed to reporting.
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