Image of a young person smiling & holding an insect in their hand

Madeline Landecker and Millie

Courtesy of Landecker family

Think Pink!

There’s a good reason Madeline Landecker’s friends call her “the bug expert.” The 10-year-old from Benton, Arkansas, gets excited whenever she spots an insect she hasn’t seen before. Madeline researches and keeps a record of each insect she finds—from rosy maple moths to carrot beetles. 

In March, she made her biggest discovery yet: She spotted a rare pink grasshopper!

“It felt really special,” says Madeline.

She carefully picked up the colorful grasshopper and saw that it was missing a leg. Madeline had taken in injured bugs before and given them a safe place to heal. She decided to keep the pink insect, which she named Millie.

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Predators can easily spot brightly colored grasshoppers like this one.

The fourth-grader got to work making a safe habitat for Millie to live in. With her dad’s help, she built an enclosure called a terrarium. She filled it with grass and soil, as well as spiders, worms, and other insects. She also found a friend for Millie—a smaller brown-and-black grasshopper she named Billie. 

Madeline gives Millie plenty of time to hop around outside the terrarium too. She even brought Millie to school once. 

“Some of the kids were scared,” she says. “But I told them there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Madeline isn’t fascinated with only six-legged creatures. She loves all animals, especially her pet dogs, cats, rabbit, and chickens. And she has rescued mourning doves and baby rabbits. It’s not surprising that Madeline wants to be a veterinarian one day!

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