Erythrism

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A erythristic Welsh polecat

Erythrism or erythrochroism refers to an unusual reddish pigmentation of an animal's fur, hair, skin, feathers, or eggshells.[1]

Causes of erythrism include

  • genetic mutations which cause an absence of a normal pigment and/or excessive production of others[2]
  • diet, as in bees feeding on maraschino juice[3]

Erythrism in katydids has been occasionally observed. The coloring might be a camouflage that helps some members of the species survive on red plants.[4] There is also consensus that the erythristic mutation is actually a dominant trait among katydid species, albeit a disadvantageous one, due to the overwhelmingly green coloration of most foliage. Hence, most pink or otherwise vividly colored katydids do not survive to adulthood, and this observation explains their rarity.[5]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dariusz Bukaciński and Monika Bukacińska (1997), Production of Erythristic Eggs by the Black-Headed Gull in Poland, Willson Bull. (Wilson Ornithological Society) 109 (1): 177–182, JSTOR 4163790 
  2. ^ Helen Hays and Kenneth C. Parkes (1993), Erythristic Eggs in the Common Tern, J. Field Ornithol (Association of Field Ornithologists) 64 (3): 341–345, JSTOR 4513830 
  3. ^ Sarah Schmidt, Helping Brooklyn's Red Stingers Get Off The Juice, onearth.org, December 1, 2010
  4. ^ Gary Noel Ross (1 June 2003), Pretty in pink, Natural History 
  5. ^ Stone, Daniel (March 2013). Easier Being Green. National Geographic. p. 19. 

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