Ronnie McLaughlin IV, a budding entomologist only 7 years old, was routinely searching out crawling creatures when he made a backyard find so rare it will go on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
As it is called, it is a Pink Grasshopper. It is shades of pink and red and is tiny. Ironicly, it is called "Love Bug", and it was discovered on Valentines day.
Ronnie found a pink grasshopper on Valentine’s Day. He named the inch-long insect “Love Bug” and placed it in the terrarium in his room.
When his mother, Kelly McLaughlin, contacted the museum, she got an enthusiastic return call from entomologist Erin Mills.
“I was so excited when I heard about them finding a pink grasshopper,” Mills said. “It’s just one of those kind of cool, mysterious things about nature that a lot of scientists don’t quite understand. So it’s a really cool thing to stumble upon around your home.”
Mills, one of two entomologists at the museum, never has seen a pink grasshopper in her years working with insects.
“It’s a genetic mutation where they have not enough of one pigment, or too much of one type of pigment,” she said. “Pink grasshoppers are not totally rare, but they are unusual. It’s kind of lucky if you come across one.”
In the insect containment room, the pink grasshopper was contentedly surveying a meal of romaine lettuce.