katydid far from home?
Hi,
Last summer two male katydids courted a female above my front door for a couple of weeks, which was really exciting because I live in Vancouver, Canada – not exactly prime katydid territory. I spent hours trying to identify their species, researching them online, using taxonomic keys, and comparing ovipositors, but I kept getting stumped when it came down to species’ range maps. Based on anatomy alone, I was 99% sure that our visitors were drumming katydids (Meconema thalassinum), despite the fact that all the information I’d found on the species puts their range about 3500km east of here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a clear enough photo to submit to you (unless you can id blurry green blobs) and so the best I could do was to reassure myself that I’d identified them correctly. Well, lo and behold, a lone male has appeared in the same spot again this year and I have a brand new zoom lens for my camera. I’d be really grateful if you could confirm that this IS a drumming katydid and if so, how rare the species is out here. I mean, should I be calling up the local entomology department to have them document the find? Or is the info I’ve found totally out of date & these guys are really common in BC? Thanks so much! You guys rock!
C.S.

Dear C.S.,
We also believe your identification of the Drumming Katydid is correct. There is a near identical match on BugGuide and the range is listed as Southern New England. Why is it in Vancouver? Global Warming? Possible accidental introduction? We think you should check with local experts and we will inquire with Eric Eaton if he has an opinion on the matter. Thanks for sending in your photo and story. Eric Eaton has verified the identification: “Yes, it is a drumming katydid (male), and its occurence should probably be reported to provincial agriculture authorities, eh? Seriously, it may be of interest to BC entomologists.”

8 Responses to Drumming Katydid (in Western Canada???)

  1. Cynna says:

    There are tonnes of these now. I’m in Burnaby, just outside Vancouver, and we’ve seen dozens and dozens of these this year, from 1/8″ long to 1.25″ long (not including their antennae, which are just over twice their body length).
    All through July and up until the second week of August, constantly finding them in our highrise 17 floors up, and friends all around the GVRD finding them in their homes.
    Just as suddenly as they showed up, they are gone. Seen many in the last few years, but never as many as this year. A bright near-neon green, they’ve looked exactly the same as the pic on this page – thin body, not as thick/leaf-like as most of the katydid pictures I’ve seen.

  2. Cynna says:

    There are tonnes of these now. I’m in Burnaby, just outside Vancouver, and we’ve seen dozens and dozens of these this year, from 1/8″ long to 1.25″ long (not including their antennae, which are just over twice their body length).
    All through July and up until the second week of August, constantly finding them in our highrise 17 floors up, and friends all around the GVRD finding them in their homes.
    Just as suddenly as they showed up, they are gone. Seen many in the last few years, but never as many as this year. A bright near-neon green, they’ve looked exactly the same as the pic on this page – thin body, not as thick/leaf-like as most of the katydid pictures I’ve seen.

  3. Donna Moran Whitford says:

    This bright green chub insect landed on my lap, sat there while I took a pic, then turned and looked directly on me so I could take a front view as I said ‘smile’ lol. I have no idea what it is, never saw one in my life.. Had physical structure and shape of a large lady bug but features of a grasshopper..but a stubby one lol I think it was a drumming katydid but it was more round and more of a chub look. Wish I could post a pic..curious to know what it was .

  4. Angie says:

    We have had at least 6 of these in our house. One landed in my husband’s hair last night, and this morning I found one on the floor. I have no idea why they are in my house or how they are getting into the house. But it is defiantly what is pictured above. I have it in a clear container and used a magnifying glass–I do not have the ability to do a close up picture. I am in the Lower Mainland.

  5. C.S. says:

    Hello again from beautiful Vancouver, BC! I submitted the original sighting & ID question and I thought I’d add a quick (albeit belated) update for anyone who’s interested.
    So I *did* report the katydid sightings to the authorities and was referred to Dr Robert Cannings, a gov scientist & (at the time) Curator of Entomology at the Royal BC Museum. He confirmed that I did indeed have a little returning population of Drumming Katydids in my front yard AND that a few individual katydids had also been sighted in the Lower Mainland by other people. That eventually led to the publication of an academic article about the species’ range expansion into BC (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237476552_Meconema_thalassinum_Orthoptera_Tettigoniidae_a_foreign_katydid_established_in_British_Columbia).

    So now it’s 2021 and, 16yrs after I spotted those three courting katydids, there is still a very happy population of them around my house. They always appear above my doorway in the first week of August and, true to form, it’s Aug 11th & there are three eager males up there waiting for a female to arrive.

    It seems these little green aliens are here to stay 💚

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