Subject:  Katydid from Panama
Geographic location of the bug:  Anton Valley, Panama, 600m absl
Date: 09/23/2018
Time: 08:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I never found what could be this katydid (even the genus is unknown to me), so any help would be much appreciated ! Thanks in advance 🙂 Frank
How you want your letter signed:  Frank Canon


Dear Frank,
Your images are gorgeous and this Katydid is quite unusual.  The undeveloped wings lead us to believe it is immature, and the apparent lack of an ovipositor indicates it is a male.  We haven’t the time this morning to conduct a thorough identification search, so we are posting your images as unidentified and we will return to this posting this evening.  Meanwhile, perhaps our readership has a moment or two for research.


Hello Daniel,
Thanks for your fast answer, actually it looks like a nymph of Steirodon (?), but I can’t find anything like this on the web…
Btw I have identified another katydid found in Panama (Panacanthus spinosus) and no picture exists on the web, only a dead collected specimen.
I’ve been told by a specialist that I also found a new species of stick insect (Trychopeplus sp.), so there are many new insects to describe in this great country !
Thanks for the response Frank.  Cesar Crash has also suggested possibly Nicklephyllum acanthonotum and we agree that does look similar, and it is a much better match than Steirodon which is pictured on Project Noah.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can confirm.
Hi Daniel,
Yes, it is definitely S. acanthonotum. A really gorgeous creature!
Ed. Note:  We wrote back to Piotr to find out why he agreed with the identification of Nicklephyllum acanthonotum, but referred to it as S. acanthonotum, and then we located this Novataxa page that states:  “The tribe of the giant katydids Steirodontini is reviewed, its relationship with other groups of Phaneropterinae from the Old and New World is discussed, and an updated key to genera is presented. Nicklephyllum n. established to accommodate one species described as Stilpnochlora acanthonotum Nickle, 1985 from Colombia.”
Piotr Naskrecki explains naming convention:  Old habits die hard – this species was originally described as Stilpnochlora acanthonotum (by Dave Nickle, later renamed in his honor) and I still think of it as such.
Update:  October 5, 2018
Hi Daniel,

Many thanks for your answer and sorry for my late reply but I was abroad.
Actually, it looks like Nicklephyllum rather than Steirodon ! I think it is probably something into this genus, regarding the shape of the pronotum…
Thanks again for your help, much appreciated !
Location: Anton Valley, Panama

2 Responses to Katydid from Panama

  1. Cesar Crash says:

    It seems to be out of known distribution, but looks like Nicklephyllum acanthonotum a recent species, so images and records must be rare.

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