Subject: Green Cricket
Location: San Marcos, CA
July 7, 2016 11:00 am
Hi Bugman! This is the second time I’ve seen one of these green cricket-looking bugs with the leaf-like “tail” in my garden and I was wondering what it was. I found this guy hanging out on my fennel flowers last night (7/6/16) and he was still there this morning just…blending in. What’s that bug?
This is a female (as evidenced by her ovipositor), immature (as evidenced by the partially developed wings) Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid. We believe she is a member of the species Scudderia mexicana based on this BugGuide image, though species can be difficult to distinguish from one another without carefully inspecting the genitalia. According to BugGuide: “To identify species within this genus, it is important to see the ‘terminalia’ (parts at the end of the abdomen). The shapes of the parts of both the males and females can be very useful for identification, and often are the only means to reliably tell species apart. In males it is useful (often necessary) to see these parts from both the side and from above, with the shapes of the supra-anal plate and the subgenital plate being important for diagnosis. The shape of the wings is also useful for some species. Also, the color pattern of living specimens can be of use, but is rarely diagnostic.”