What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Crazy Katydid?
Dear WTB,
Love the site, use it all the time to figure out what’s crawling around our house here in the Texas Hill Country. Recently, we have been overrun with the bug in the attached photo. We find them in the leaf litter in large patches, averaging probably one to two individuals per square foot (it looks like the forest floor is jumping out from under you!). We often have similar looking creatures (usually all brownish, and sometimes green – both of which I believe to be some sort of katydid), but I’ve never seen them in this color before. Any clue? Best,
Dave from Texas

Hi Dave,
This is sure a gorgeous Shieldback Katydid, but we are unsure of the genus and species. We hope to contact Eric Eaton to get his opinion. You did not indicate if this coloration is an isolated specimen, or if the many individuals you wrote about sport the same coloration. Here is Eric’s response: “You are correct in the identification, but I have no idea what genus or species it is, or why they are so numerous. I will post to my listserv and see if someone else can help “

Update: (06/05/2007) Unknown Shieldback Katydid
Hi there bugman,
An update on the Katydid Nymph photo I sent you all about one week ago (It is currently listed as “Unknown Shieldback Katydid” in the Katydid section). One week later, they have changed into the form as seen in the attached photo. I’m unsure if this will help, but it’s at least interesting. Thanks again,
Dave from Texas

Hi again Dave,
Thanks for the update. We still do not know what species this is, but we will post it back to the homepage.

Ed. Note: (06/08/2007) Eric Eaton sent out the following request:
Dear Friends: My friend Daniel Marlos, who runs the What’s That Bug? website has recently received images of some kind of katydid that is appearing in great numbers in the Texas Hill Country. I have no idea what it is, and can so far find no one else who recognizes it. Please see the images on the “Katydids 2” page. Please feel free to circulate this note to colleagues who are not on this listserv as well. Thank you in advance for any assistance.
Eric Eaton

Update: (06/08/2007) Mike Quinn answered Eric’s plea:
Here’s your bug. Large numbers are being reported from New Braunfels, Comal Co.; Canyon Lake, Comal Co.; and San Antonio, Bexar Co. These two counties are adjacent.
This morning Debbie Benesh and I went to Government Canyon SNA to look at plants, but a plague of locusts stole the show. Okay, so the insect involved seems to be the pink form of the truncated true katydid (Paracyrtophyllus robustus) rather than a locust. But the plague part sure was accurate. We saw literally hundreds of the beasts, most or maybe all of them feeding on the foliage of plateau live oak (Quercus fusiformis). And we could see only the lower branches of most of those trees. Yikes! I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the species before, and I sure won’t forget it.
Bill Carr, (Texas Nature Conservancy botanist)
Dr. John Oswald, Texas A&M, reported a similar outbreak of P. robustus in 2001 in Lee County (see remarks in following link). Truncated True Katydid, Paracyrtophyllus robustus (Caudell 1906)
Government Canyon State Natural Area, San Antonio, TX
Mike Quinn
Invertebrate Biologist
Wildlife Diversity Program
Texas Parks & Wildlife
Austin, Texas

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
Hi, I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Truncated True Katydid – Paracyrtophyllus robustus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Texas

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