I finally had the opportunity to work with the now famous pink Amblycorypha katydid known as "Pinky", and get some respectable images. Scroll back to a few earlier posts that I made if you want to learn more about it. Above, our star poses on the leaf of a native agrimony, Agrimonia gryposepala, which provides a nice backdrop for her nearly preposterous pinkishness. Little did Jan Kennedy know, I suspect, what a sensation this bug would become when she found it in a meadow at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area.
Despite many years of active field work and specific searches for all of eastern North America's singing insects, Wil had never seen one of these pink katydid forms. Until yesterday, that is, when he made the trip to Columbus from West Virginia to meet the pinkster. Wil is also an expert photographer and got images that are dazzling, as well as video footage.
A short video of the katydid, surrounded by fawning paparazzi.
Today, Pinky began to show signs of molting, and I am curious to see what she looks like tomorrow morning. We are hopeful all goes well with her and she successfully molts out of this last instar stage and into her final adult form, replete with large wings.
A great many insects are attacked by parasitic wasps, which use stingerlike ovipositors to inject eggs into the victim's body. There, the eggs hatch into little grubs, which begin to eat the host alive. Finally, like something out of a horror movie, the grubs burst from the hapless host's body, and by that time it is nearly dead. Nature is full of these seemingly horrific relationships, but that's just how it goes.
Even if this is Pinky's fate, she will have been an extraordinary ambassador for insects and the natural world. Her next act is the Ohio State Fair, where she'll be displayed at the Natural Resources area. Should you find yourself down there, stop by and check her out.