Texas Hill Country bug
June 1, 2010
Saw a fair number of these bugs in Government Canyon State Natural Area, which is just northwest of San Antonio, Texas. Saw it walking on oak trees and in grasses nearby. It’s about 2 inches long. Maybe a roach, but not like any I’ve seen before. Photo is of one on a Juniper tree. If not moving, it can be confused with a brown leaf. Did not see one fly, but it looks like maybe it could. Thanks.
Once we recognized this as a True Katydid in the family Pseudophyllinae (doesn’t the prefix ‘pseudo’ mean false?), we quickly identified it as a Truncated True Katydid or Central Texas Leaf Katydid, Paracyrtophyllus robustus on BugGuide which indicated: “Large concentrations in the canopies of live oak and junipers, producing an amazing chorus at mid-day.” BugGuide also reports that there are periodical outbreaks of great numbers of Central Texas Leaf Katydids and by comparison “Katydids normally sing only at night, but during outbreaks they [Central Texas Leaf Katydids] sing day and night (and how!!!)” A few days ago, we posted a photo of an immature Central Texas Leaf Katydid. We suspect, when they are very plentiful, they provide a valuable food source for many creatures, and that they are probably quite palatable to humans as well. Perhaps David Gracer will comment.