Currently viewing the category: "Katydids"
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Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
December 15, 2014 8:18 am
Dear Bugman,
We saw this crazy bug while hiking in the dunes of the Western Cape National Park in South Africa in December. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good photo indicating scale, however, in it’s entirety, it was approximately the size of an average man’s palm (about 3 inches across.) It also had “wings”, black in color and round in shape, positioned under it’s legs which seems to vibrate when we got near, making a loud “buzzing” sound which was what caught my attention. The colors were vibrant and it was a little intimidating! Our friends that lived in the area said they had never seen such a thing! Any ideas? Curious minds want to know! Thank you!
Signature: Jenny

Ed. Note:  The identical image was sent with this request
Subject: Funky critter in South Africa
Location: the Dunes in West Coast National Park Langebaan-Western-Cape-South-Africa
December 15, 2014 2:00 pm
This is an unusual spider located on the Dunes in West Coast National Park Langebaan-Western-Cape-South-Africa
Trying to determine what the species actually is? hopefully you can answer our query.
Signature: Mrs. Lauri Brownson

Orthopteran (ventral view)

Shortwinged Predatory Katydid (ventral view)

Hi Jenny,
Because this Orthopteran is on its back with its belly in the air, we are going to have a very difficult time identifying it.  We can tell you it is a Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, and that it is most likely a King Cricket in the subfamily Hetrodinae.  We are leaning toward the genus
Acanthoplus, and you can see a brightly colored individual here on iSpot as well as here on iSpot.  King Crickets are also known as Corn Crickets.

Dear Mrs. Lauri Brownson,
We received the identical image from Jenny.  We are enclosing the reply we sent her.

Interesting creature to say the least! thank you for your time!  and speed!
Lauri Brownson

Location: West Coast, South Africa
December 17, 2014 3:05 am
Dear Bugman~
Thank you for taking the time to look at the photo I submitted yesterday for identification. I was having trouble finding a confirmation on it;s i.d., so I contacted the University of Cape Town, South Africa, as this is the region in which we sighted the gorgeous insect. Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and co-author of the “Field Guide to Insects of South Africa”, Mike Picker offered this info regarding the photo:
“This was an unusual sighting, in that these carnivorous grasshoppers are rarely seen, except at night when they emerge from the dense bushes in which they hide during the day. They are fairly common along the west coast all the way to Namibia, with adults maturing in summer. They are katydids (Tettigoniidae), Hemiclonia melanoptera (Short-winged predatory katydid). The wings seem to be used as a warning signal (the buzzing that you describe) although I have not seen this. There are four related species in the genus, and other winged species in the summer rainfall part of the region. All can deliver a severe bite (have massive black toothed mandibles) – so you did the right thing by not picking it up!”
With his permission, I thought I’d share this with you and your staff to help with future identifications!
Thanks again for your time!
Signature: Kind Regards, Jenny Haldiman

Thanks for that update Jenny.  We searched that name and we found this posting listed under the genus Clonia on iSpot.  There is also an image on Zandvlei Turst Insects and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility indicates that Clonia and Hemiclonia are synonyms.  ISpot also has this fine image.

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Subject: Orthoptera
Location: South Namibia
November 30, 2014 10:34 am
This big insect (about 6 cm) was dead and injured (in october).
Signature: visitor

Armored Ground Cricket

Armored Ground Cricket

Dear visitor,
This is an Armored Ground Cricket or Armored Bush Cricket, a type of flightless Katydid, most likely in the subfamily Tettigoniinae.  Some South African species are known as Koringkriek.
  We have not been able to locate any images online that look like your individual.  The Little Kulala Lodge website has some individuals pictured.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can give us a more specific identification.

Piotr Naskrecki provides species identification:  Acanthoproctus cervinus
Hi Daniel,
This is Acanthoproctus cervinus (Tettigoniidae: Hetrodinae), a species common in Namibia and the Western part of South Africa.  It is one of the species that defend themselves by squirting blood from their spiracles at the attacker (but are of course harmless).

Ed. NOte:  We found a matching image on FlickR that indicates the common name is Koringkriek.

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Subject: Insect eggs on citrus leaf
Location: Houston TX
November 20, 2014 8:14 pm
This was on the top leaf of a 2 year old grafted citrus. I haven’t seen it before and was interested to know what it is.
Signature: Mickey

Katydid Eggs

Katydid Eggs

Hi Mickey,
These are Katydid EggsKatydids are relatives of Grasshoppers and most North American Katydids are green.  They are solitary feeders, and though they eat leaves (and rose blossoms in our garden) they do not do significant damage.  We allow Katydids to feed off the plants in our garden because they in turn provide food for other predators, including insect eating birds.

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Subject: Unknown bug
Location: Lesvos
November 20, 2014 5:38 am
I found this bug in Lesvos in the Greek islands last April and would appreciate if you could identify it.
Many thanks for your help. I have been asked to do a talk on Lesvos for my local RSPB group and would appreciate your assistance, regards
Signature: William Smiton


Bush Cricket

Dear William,
This is a Katydid or Bush Cricket in the family Tettigoniidae, and we quickly identified it on PBase as
Poecilimon mytelensis, a species endemic to Lesvos.  An endemic species is native to a limited area, and islands that are isolated often have endemic species that have taken their own evolutionary path due to a limited gene pool.  The Flora and Fauna of Cyprus site also indicates this species is endemic to Lesvos.  The spikelike ovipositor indicates that your individual is a female.

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Subject: Madagascan cricket
Location: Ifaty, Madagascar
September 20, 2014 2:07 am
Are you able to id this Madagascan cricket? Seen on a night visit to a small nature reserve at Ifaty on the coast of south west Madagascar.
Signature: Niall Corbet

Unknown Ensiferan

Conehead Katydid

Hi again Niall,
We are contacting Piotr Naskrecki about this Ensiferan as well.

Thanks Daniel, I look forward to his thoughts.
Cheers, Niall

Karl Provides and Identification:  September 23, 2014
Hi Daniel and Niall:
I believe this may be the same species as in the previous post, Colossopus grandidieri, but a sub-adult this time. Hopefully Piotr Naskrecki can confirm, correct or clarify. Regards Karl.

We are always appreciative of your excellent research Karl.

Many thanks Daniel. I would never have guessed that they were the same species! Is the pale coloured one a female and the dark one a male?
Regards, Niall

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Cricket, Madagascar
Location: Ifaty, Madagascar
September 20, 2014 2:53 am
Another cricket from Ifaty in south west Madagascar – any ideas for id?
Signature: Niall Corbet


Conehead Katydid:  Colossopus grandidieri

Hi Niall,
We believe this Ensiferan or Longhorned Orthopteran is a type of Katydid.  We are contacting Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki regarding both of your submissions.  The red eyes and blue legs are quite distinctive.

Katydid possibly

Conehead Katydid

Karl Provides Identification:  September 23, 2014
Hi Daniel and Niall:
It looks like the Conehead Katydid (Tettigoniidae: Conocephalinae), Colossopus grandidieri. The species is wingless but the dark coloration suggests that it is likely and adult. There really isn’t very much information available online for this species; what there is has been posted mostly by German breeders. The common name may be Giant Cricket or Tiger Cricket, both erroneous since it is not a cricket, and it is endemic to Madagascar, perhaps only the southern part of the island. The literature for C. grandidieri is very sparse and there seems to be some confusion or ambiguity between this and a related species, Oncodopus zonatus. Based on what I could find on both species I would go with C. grandidieri. Regards. Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  We are surprised that such a gorgeous Conehead Katydid is not better documented.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination