Acridology into the Lila Downs’ Friar Grasshopper
The Lila Downs’ Friar Grasshopper is a new genus and we wanted to investigate whether the species was flourishing or running the risk of extinction.
Lila Downs' Friar Grasshopper (Liladownsia fraile)
The Lila Downs’ Friar Grasshopper is a new genus, originally recorded in 2011 near San Miquel, Suchixtepec, Sierra Madre del Sur Mountain Range in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was found in an area of 16km between 1900 and 3000m above sea level. The aim of the project was to investigate whether the species was flourishing or running the risk of extinction.
Before the project team commenced field work, they were hopeful to find the species in a much larger distribution range. This was due to various community sightings and reports which has been recorded on iNaturalist. Based on this information, the team was confident that the grasshopper has indeed extended its range and this was supported by multiple photographs of adults and nymphs.
The MBZ Grant assisted this project to allow this project to extend the estimated area of occupancy from 16km2 to 50km2. Over this stretch, the research team visited three previous locations where the Lila grasshopper was originally spotted, as well as explored an additional four locations, all bearing positive results. They also managed to engage with the local community and educate them on the importance of conservation and other endangered species.
Thanks to the MBZ Fund, the valuable research allowed the project team to update the 2014 IUCN assessment, increase the search location and engaged with and educated the community on ecological information.
Project lead by
Dr Ricardo Marino-Perez
University of MichiganView public case study