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A erythristic Welsh polecat

Erythrism or erythrochroism refers to an unusual reddish pigmentation of an animal's 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 "bright red (colored) corn syrup" used in maraschino cherry manufacturing[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]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dariusz Bukaciński and Monika Bukacińska (1997), "Production of Erythristic Eggs by the BIack-Headed GuII in PoIand", Wilson 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,, 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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