An elegant green whazzit
Location: Bethel, Missouri
December 2, 2010 12:04 am
Dear Bugman, Love, love, LOVE your site! I encountered this elegant green ”grasshopper” a couple of years ago at the World Sheep Festival in Bethel, Missouri (Labor Day Weekend). The body was about an inch long. What is it and why does it have such outrageously long antennae?
Signature: N. Fritz
Dear N. Fritz,
This is a Meadow Katydid and Katydids belong to the suborder Ensifera, the Long-Horned Orthoptera, so named because of their long antennae which distinguishes them from Grasshoppers. Your specimen looks like a male Wingless Meadow Katydid, Odontoxiphidium apterum, which we identified on BugGuide. BugGuide states its range is “Southeastern US” and though the examples posted on BugGuide are from the deep south, we know that historically Missouri was considered a southern state. We will check with Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can confirm our identification. Insect antennae are sensory organs.
Correction thanks to Piotr Naskrecki
No, it is not Odontoxiphidium, but Conocephalus strictus (both genera are closely related, though).
We will link to Conocephalus strictus, the Straight-Lanced Meadow Katydid, on BugGuide which is found in “Dry grasslands, old fields with grasses“ in the “Eastern and Central United States.“