RARE, PINK EYED KATYDID found in the Cederberg caves of South Africa; this species of grasshopper-like insect was…

RARE, PINK EYED KATYDID found in the Cederberg caves of South Africa; this species of grasshopper-like insect was found by Piotr Naskrecki , an entomologist, photographer and author of Relics: Travels in Nature’s Time Machine. Piotr suggests that these rare creatures are genetically orphaned, left behind from the Pleistocene era and surviving only in the cool temperatures of caves.

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27 Responses to RARE, PINK EYED KATYDID found in the Cederberg caves of South Africa; this species of grasshopper-like insect was…


  1. Lol now that just made me giggle. He’s weirdly cute isn’t he?

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    Quite the gentleman lady 🙂

  3. Thomas Kang says:


    Oh, no Katy did not. . . .


    OMG, she did! She did finally buy those colored contact lenses.


  4. Wow, pink pearls as shoes!

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    Contact lens and pink slippers..he’s a she!! Of course, apologies to Mme. Katy Did.


  6. How cool is this! So are all katydids of this species pink-eyed? Reminds me of the rare solid pink katydids (example: http://goo.gl/VT30Q), those getting their color from a rare genetic disorder in species which are usually green.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh, spectacular, thanks for the link Chris Mallory . I read briefly about the mutant versions in that link, while searching for some more info on this pink eyed species, which was mentioned in NPR’s Science Friday. According to Nascrecki’s book, which I was lucky to find online, this creature is unusual in that it lives in groups (apparently, others are solitary), it is very slow moving possibly because of the cool temperature, and not found any where else. The species name is Cedarbergeniana imperfecta (immature katydid from Cedarberg) because the author came across a juvenile specimen more than a decade ago in a collection from that area.

  8. Chad Haney says:


    Haven’t listened to Steely Dan in a while. Thanks Peter Lindelauf.

  9. Thomas Kang says:


    D’oh! Peter Lindelauf You beat me to it, but we were on the same wavelength. I Googled “Steely Dan Katydid,” having forgotten the name of the song, and got to this page:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katy_Lied


    The album cover features a picture of a katydid, a “singing” (stridulating) insect related to crickets and grasshoppers. This is most likely a pun on the album’s title; the “singing” of a katydid sounds as though they’re saying “Katy did, Katy didn’t” although a lyric in the song “Doctor Wu” mentions “Katy tried, I was halfway crucified”, and “Katy lies, you can see it in her eyes”. The premise of the theme of Katy “lying”, is based off a quote from Denny Dias when he came to the studio to play on “Your Gold Teeth II.”

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh really, how cool..thanks Owen McNamara ! Tagged him in the edit.

  11. Chad Haney says:


    I guess I’m not that old or drunk yet. I knew that name/profile looked familiar. http://goo.gl/2xUR4 I saw that rare moss mantis re-shared a bunch of times.


    I wonder if Google has a way to search for images on G+ only. A ton of people are sharing the praying mantis on a plant that looks like a bicycle. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s my pet peeve when people re-share and don’t give credit to the person they found it from.

  12. Chad Haney says:


    Peter Lindelauf


    …The Cuervo Gold


    The fine Colombian


    Make tonight a wonderful thing…


    Steely Dan – Hey nineteen


    I’m not much for tequila, but maybe a shot of something else will do.

  13. Rajini Rao says:


    Totally agree, Chad Haney . Generally, an image search on Google is all one needs to do to find the original source, unless the thing has been reshared too many time. At least, people should have the courtesy to post author unknown in that case. Several of us have had this discussion, including Ricardo Nuno Silva and Max Huijgen .


  14. ugly but still kinda cute; looks curious


  15. hi ra


    jini h r u this picture is very danger


  16. at a first view (because of its pink eyes) i thought of a photoshop joke but looking it more accurately i think it’s smiling or it’s surprised 🙂


  17. And pretty pink shoes! Yay!


  18. Thank you Rajini for all the great photos… I love your posts.. very entertaining and educational… Keep it coming…


  19. beauty with brain — that’s u rajini !


  20. Chris Mallory beat me to it but here is the photo of an (even more shockingly) pink katydid I bookmarked in 2008: http://bugguide.net/node/view/32354 — see also Darryl T. Gwynne’s book http://books.google.com/books/about/Katydids_and_Bush_Crickets.html?id=Q_svaiSYja8C

  21. Rajini Rao says:


    That is an intense pink, Craig Reynolds , thanks! I’m going to try to find out what the genetic basis is for erythrism in katydids. It seems to be well documented. Not only is there lack of the usual green pigment, there also seems to be excessive production of another (perhaps it is a precursor that accumulates?).


  22. As a computer graphics geek also interested in natural coloration (http://www.red3d.com/cwr/iec/) it strikes me that green and magenta are complementary hues. I wonder if that had any significance in the genetics or its expression as pigments?


    I hope Prof. Gwynne won’t mind me repeating here what he told me in 2008 when I emailed him to ask about this image: there is some evidence for gregarious species that pink may be associated with a migratory morph. I’ve written some on this in a 2001 book on katydids (go to google books and search for Gwynne and Katydid – once the book comes up search “pink” within the book). There is even an old reference on the inheritance of pink coloration in a katydid. One of the colour plates in the book shows a pink morph of a phaneropterine katydid in Australia. The main subfamily where a pink morph occurs is Phaneropterinae (eg Amblicorypha). Also Conocephalinae (Copiphorini tribe – eg Euconocephalus) – -as your photos web links show.

  23. Rajini Rao says:


    Exactly, Feisal Kamil ! We see green because the katydid absorbs all colors but reflects green. Since pink is the complement of green (neurally, if not in the actual spectrum), does the absence of green mean the object will look pink? I shared one of those cool pink/green illusions a while back: http://goo.gl/02pA7


  24. What a colour combination. Simply fantastic.

  25. Thomas Kang says:


    This is the proper thread. Here you go: http://goo.gl/Aw4Ub

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