(WJW) — One Ohio man recently stumbled upon a colorful discovery.
Dirk Parker, 33, was walking through nature last week when he spotted something striking among the green foliage of Texas — a bright pink grasshopper.
“Just thought it was a normal grasshopper that we didn’t have in Ohio,” said Parker, who is currently in Texas on a job as an environmental inspector for pipelines. “So the first thing I thought of was [that would make great] fishing bait.”
The Tippecanoe-native said he snapped photos of the grasshopper and put it back where he found it, not thinking much until later that night when he Googled the insect, and found out it’s quite rare.
A similar looking grasshopper was also found in Texas back in 2020, with FOX 8’s sister station KXAN reporting that the unusual pink comes from a genetic mutation, according to National Geographic. The mutation is reportedly known as erythrism, caused by a recessive gene, and the visibility makes these animals far easier prey.
With the new information, Parker, who said he likes to hunt into fish and isn’t usually into insects, went back to the same spot the next day to try and find the rare creature.
“I wanted to share this with the world,” Parker, who often works in Akron and Cleveland, told FOX 8 News. “It’s so cool to get to show people.”
He was able to locate it and placed it in a small habitat. As of now, Pinky, as the insect’s been named, is staying with Parker while he tries to find the proper spot to place it.
“I’m not [keeping him] for spite, I’m not pinning him up,” Parker made clear. “I’m trying to let God’s creatures live. Adults only live a year. I’d like to see him live his life.”