a genetic mutation known as erythrism, which suppresses the black pigment eumelanin and produces an excess of the red pigment phaeomelanin, causes these grasshoppers to turn a dangerously conspicuous pink (making rare the photographer who manages to photograph one). the combination of red hair and freckles in humans is thought to be a form of erythrism. photos by roeselien raimond, victoria hillman, marcus juvonen, tim parkinson,
Lovely nature. Within Middle-earth lore, I’d like to think gene mutations were a mischief of Morgoth, conceptually the perfect bookend to this post by lintamande, which says:
I think I prefer to believe that Oromë and Vána, who understand the cyclical nature of healthy ecosystems on account of being the Vala of hunting and the Vala of eternal youth (which I interpret as ‘renewal’), collaborated on the invention of flies and then Morgoth corrupted them into mosquitos, which are totally evil and ecologically unnecessary.
Mosquitos are to flies as orcs are to Elves, basically.
Melkor had always shown a pre-disposition to improv and add his own signature to things. Genetic mutation would be the perfect signature from him, though how fuschia grasshoppers might serve his grand plan is anyone’s guess.