Man Shares Discovery of 'Rare' Pink Grasshopper

While many grasshoppers blend into their surroundings because of their green and brown coloring, a man came across one that is much more vibrant in Texas.

Dirk Parker, an Ohio native who is in Texas for work, told Newsweek he was out on a nature walk when he spotted the pink grasshopper. This unusual coloring may occur due to a condition called erythrism.

"When I first saw it, I thought it was neat," he said.

Parker imagined the grasshopper would make some good fishing bait, but because he did not have his fishing pole with him, he snapped a few photos of the grasshopper, put it back down and went on his way.

"I got back to my hotel room and looked through the photos, and it just stuck out to me," Parker said.

It was when he conducted an Internet search on pink grasshoppers that he learned he found something rare.

He said while he never found a pink grasshopper back home in Ohio, he thought it may be more prevalent in different regions, like Texas.

According to National Geographic, erythrism is a condition that causes pigmentation to be reddish or pink. The outlet published several articles about different species that have experienced this condition, which include leopards, dolphins and manta rays.

Parker decided to return to the same area where he first released the grasshopper to see if he could find the rare insect a second time.

"I went to that general area, and it took about 10 minutes to find him," he said. "He moved about four feet from where I left him."

It was the same grasshopper Parker found the previous day, which he confirmed because of the distinct markings that he found on it.

He decided to hang on to the grasshopper and fashioned a habitat for it. Parker explained he learned that due to the pink coloring, it may be easier for predators to spot the grasshopper.

"They typically live up to a year," he said. "I wanted to let it live it out."

Though he is willing to keep the grasshopper and take care of it himself, Parker said he is interested in finding an insect sanctuary of sorts that will take it in.

Pink Grasshopper
A man came across a pink grasshopper while he was out on a nature walk in Texas. The reason for the pigmentation may be due to a condition called erythrism. Photo Courtesy of Dirk Parker

That way, he said, people will have the opportunity to look at it.

"Why not let everyone see it," Parker said.

He said he hopes this exciting find may inspire people to do some exploring on their own to see what they may find.

Though a rare sight, this is not the first pink grasshopper that's been found.

Newsweek reported in February 2020 that a woman's son found a pink grasshopper in their Austin, Texas, backyard.