On my trip down to southern Arizona this weekend to visit Karen Fasimpaur, I got a photo of a most unusual multi-colored grasshopper (actually, she spotted it, I just did the photo)
I saw more grasshoppers of various sizes, shapes, colors, that weekend, but nothing like this one, which I sarcastically described as
Looks like it was designed for sale in Scottsdale
A comment on the photo from Cobalt123 asked if it was in Arizona, so I did geolocate it (as best I could guess from looking at the map and knowing a bit of landforms).
In an effort to show how I try to learn things, I first took a URL for the flickr image into Google Images search by image (no idea of that URL will work, who the BLEEP is in charge of making unreadable URLs at Google?), but as you can see, what it is really doing is matching the range and distribution of colors rather than the subject
The it was off to regular google, searching on multi colored grasshopper, which got me to an image in Bug Guide that looked promising — and a link from there to Species Dactylotum bicolor – Rainbow Grasshopper
And just like that I stumble into this tremendous, likely somewhat community sourced reference BugGuide
We are an online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures.
We enjoy the opportunity to instill in others the fascination and appreciation that we share for the intricate lives of these oft-maligned creatures.
Using the best resources we have access to, we are creating a knowledgebase to help each other and the online community.
We summarize our findings in guide pages like the one shown at right.
And look at that, just form the URL I can guess it runs in drupal. I can like drupal (when other people build great resources).
So what about that Rainbow Grasshopper? Chance encounter draws me to do a photograph and share it; a chance comment from someone prompts me to look it up. None of this happens without putting things out in the open. My motive is to increase the potential energy for serendipity- and you maximize that potential on the wide open web, not inside some password guarded zone.
But I want to learn more- insect experts, tell me about this Rainbow Grasshopper!