what is this????
Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 12:21 AM
We found this in our backyard this past summer, it makes a high pitched screech when you get near it, my family and I were wondering if you would know what it is…
The reason your specimen, Pterophylla camellifolia, is known as the True Katydid is because it is the first species in the family to have its song transcribed into the familiar “katy-DID” and “katy-DIDN’T” according to our Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. The True Katydid can be visually distinguished from other Katydids by the shape of its wings and the many conspicuous veins which truly give it the appearance of a leaf, aiding in its camouflage. The True Katydid is also somewhat unique in that both sexes call out, while in most Orthopterans, only the male sings. Your specimen is a female, as evidenced by the pointed ovipositor at the tip of her abdomen. The species is more often heard than seen, because of the camouflage as well as their preference for living it the tree canopy. Your specimen seems a bit traumatized, and we are guessing it was perhaps preyed upon by a bird or other predator, and eventually abandoned.
Sex Correction: From a Katydid Expert
Tuesday, February 15, 2009
This is indeed Pterophylla camellifolia, but this individual is a male, not a female. The long element at the end of the abdomen is the subgenital plate. Notice also the brown area at the base of the wings, a part of the stridulatory (sound producing) apparatus.