Rare pink grasshopper discovered in Wood County

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Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 1:44 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - You’ve heard the phrase, “horse of a different color?” In a unique twist, a man in Wood County found a grasshopper of a different color.

They are usually green, as everyone knows, but once in a while, once in a great while, you find one that’s pink. And Dirk Parker found just that in Wood County.

“What is that? And I ended up going over there and looked at it, and I picked it up. It was a little pink grasshopper,” Parker said.

And he took a picture, set it back down, and snapped a couple more pictures.

“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘It might be good for fishing’, but I didn’t have my pole, so I just kept on going,” Parker said.

Although it’s obvious where Parker was where he found it; a field near some Wood County woods. The location will remain undisclosed. He went back to his room.

“I’m looking at my phone, and I said, ‘I’m going to look up this thing.’ Found out it’s a rare grasshopper,” Parker said.

How rare? Well, UT Tyler Professor of Biology Dr. Joshua Banta said, “It’s called erythrism.”

“It’s where the organism has a pinker or a more red color than it would normally have in the wild. It’s rare from the statistical point of view. You’re unlikely to encounter it in your everyday life. And there’s a really good reason for that. And that’s natural selection,” Banta said.

He says a pink grasshopper is easy to spot, whether by Dirk or say, a bird, which wouldn’t hesitate to eat it. Banta called it a rare and beautiful find.

As for Dirk, he couldn’t sleep. It’s like he passed up buying a $10 Picasso at a secondhand store. So, he went back to the undisclosed location.

“It took me about 10 minutes or so, but I found that grasshopper again,” Parker said.

Once again, easy to spot. Apparently, no birds had happened by.

“You know, when you were looking around out there, did you see any others?” I asked him.

“No. Oh, I definitely looked,” Parker said.

So only one out there in the grass, found twice. Dirk is a subcontractor for an oil company and came all the way from Ohio to find that pink hopper. Had he found one when he was a kid, Parker said, “It would have been fish bait in a heartbeat. But now that I know more about them, no.”

Then again, maybe he should think twice about that. He might end up with the ultra-rare pink bass.

Parker said he will be buying a couple of lottery tickets to see if his luck is holding up.

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