First United States Record of Netrosoma Fusiformis
While it has only been in the last couple of years that my interests in insects as taken off, there is much to learn regarding identification of the many genera of insects. I am an avid user of iNaturalist, a website and mobile app used for documenting biological records of any type. If you aren’t already a user, I hope you will join this critically important citizen science project.
Back in August 2017, I photographed a grasshopper I found in my yard here in Sanderson, Texas. I do everything I can to try and identify any insect, bird, mammal, reptile, plant, etc. before posting to iNaturalist. But one of the wonderful aspects of iNaturalist is that it is a huge community of amateur and professional naturalists who help with identification to species or genera. One grasshopper in particular eluded my basic understanding of grasshoppers and one of the members of iNaturalist is a Cornell graduate student, username brandonwoo, who seems to be an expert on grasshoppers in the United States.
When I posted a photo of this unknown grasshopper, brandonwoo posted that he was stumped and that it didn’t match any genera he knew of that occurred in the United States. The following day he posted that this photo matched the original description of Netrosoma fusiformis. This species of grasshopper has never been documented in the United States prior to this individual. Finding a first record for the United States for any wildlife is exciting and scientifically significant. Unfortunately, at the time I found the grasshopper. I collected it to photography in my white box and then released so no specimen was collected. This upcoming summer will find me trying to find another one so that a specimen can be collected and provided to university collections.
To see the record on iNaturalist, you can click here and to see the record on BugGuide, click here.