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Viewer Allison Barger sent us this photo of a rare pink grasshopper she found in her garden in southwest Austin. (Courtesy: KXAN)

A Texas woman spotted a striking and unusual insect standing out against the backdrop of her garden in southwest Austin on Sunday — a pink grasshopper.

Angela Barger snapped a photo of the grasshopper, which was first seen by her 3-year-old son, and shared the picture with KTLA sister station KXAN in Austin.

She came to find out there aren’t many of the pink grasshoppers around.

So why is the insect pink? It’s a genetic mutation, according to Victoria Hillman with National Geographic.

Hillman says the mutation is called erythrism, and it’s caused by a recessive gene similar to the one that affects albino animals. It’s unusual and not very understood, she said, even though it was discovered in katydids in 1887.

The mutation typically happens in the common meadow grasshopper, according to Hillman.

“This mutation results in one of two things happening or even a combination of the two; a reduce or even absence of the normal pigment and/or the excessive production of other pigments,” Hillman wrote in a blog for National Geographic.

It’s also not easy being pink. Hillman says many of the pink grasshoppers don’t make it to adulthood because predators can see them easier against plants.

An internet search revealed pink grasshoppers have been seen and documented in the United Kingdom, but hardly any came back as sightings in the United States.

Allison Barger took a photo of a pink grasshopper in her garden Feb. 16, 2020 (Credit: Allison Barger)