Subject:  Spotted in Turkey
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Mugla, in a forest about 700m above sea level
Date: 07/16/2018
Time: 04:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  No idea what this is, and whether it is dangerous. It is approximately 10cm in length
How you want your letter signed:  Gordon

Female Giant Predatory Katydid: Saga natoliae

Dear Gordon,
This is one very impressive Katydid, and the ovipositor indicates it is a female.  Katydids are not considered dangerous, but large individuals might have powerful mandibles that could draw blood if a person tried to handle one carelessly.  We quickly located this eBay image identified as
Saga natoliae that has a $202.50 price tag for its purchase.  According to Pyrgus Orthoptera and their Ecology:  “Saga natoliae is locally endangered by agricultural intensification, overbuilding (urban sprawl, industry, traffic). No roads should be constructed through its habitats!” and “The impressing species (largest European Saltatoria) occurs from the Balkan Peninsula (Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey) across Asia Minor to Caucasia and the Near East.”  Nature Photo calls this the Balkan Sawing Cricket.  According to a comment on TrekNature:  “It is attacking me with all of its 10 cm length! The magnificent creature prefers crickets and lizards though. It presses a lizard to its mighty spines on the thorax and then saws it in two with its mandibles. You find the animal in the Balkans and in Turkey.”

Dear Daniel
Thank you so much, fascinating

Location: Mugla, Turkey

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