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The area I found this grasshopper was Canyon Country, California, USA In a desert/field area. I have been reading up on grasshoppers because I recently came into possession of a pink grasshopper (It was identified below as the common meadow hopper Chorthippus parallelus). One of the pages that I've read covers the eating of toxic plants by grasshoppers and how they change to bright colors to warn that they are toxic after eating poisons. Is this true? Could that explain the coloring of this grasshopper, or is it due to a recessive gene, or even erythrism? I'm trying to breed it, so any and all info on how to treat this little guy, history of the coloring if its genes, and the color changing toxic effect would be much appreciated. Here's a picture. enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you add a specific species? It's more of a shot in the dark right now. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 4 '16 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ Can you add those links: the other sites and the resource that talks about the toxicity? $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 4 '16 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ These two sites say that this is a common meadow grasshopper: Chorthippus parallelus. Have you already checked them? I can't find anything about toxic plants here, though. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 4 '16 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like an immature instar? You might be interested in this, too: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/20702/… $\endgroup$ – Oreotrephes Apr 4 '16 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ This is a page I found in the beginning of my research hinting on the eating of toxins and color change. animalcorner.co.uk/animals/grasshopper $\endgroup$ – Shaye Apr 5 '16 at 2:48
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Chortippus parallelus is a common species in Europe that is according to my grasshopper id-guide extremely variable in color. It can be green, brown, yellow and even purple. I can verify that from field experience. Pink however is much more rare, and considered to be caused by Erythrism See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrism for explanation and several references to pink grasshoppers/katydids.

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  • $\begingroup$ If the wikipedia is right, and the pink coloration is a dominant trait, then OP should have an easy time breeding for it, assuming he can breed grasshoppers in captivity. $\endgroup$ – user137 May 12 '16 at 15:24

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