Currently viewing the category: "Katydids"
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What’s this bug?
Hello. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I found this bug in my garden, I really don’t know what it is. I thought it could be some kind of cricket, but I’m totally clueless. I hope you can tell me what it is and if it’s somehow dangerous. Thank you very much,
Julie.

Hi Julie,
You have provided us with an interesting mystery. This insect most resembles a rare group of insects in New Zealand known as Wetas. Wikipedia has a nice image of a Giant Weta, Deinacrida fallai. These Wetas are Orthopterans, the Order of insects that included Crickets. They are in the Family Anostostomatidae. We have found web information that there are species of insects in the family Anostostomatidae in Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, but cannot find images. Shortly after you sent in your photos and question, a Jonathan Simmons, sent in one of your images calling this creature a “Nasty Critter.” Your specimen is a female and she is not dangerous, though some Orthopterans can bite, but do not have poison. Others have sharp spines on the legs that can do damage to human skin. Your specimen is missing the two hind legs, the jumping legs. We want to get Eric Eaton’s opinion on your creature. Here is what Eric has to add: ” You are quite right about the specimen missing both of its hind legs, and that really makes identification difficult. I suspect is is some kind of Copiphorinae katydid in the family Tettigoniidae. There are several tropical species still awaiting description by science, don’t know if this is one of them. It is a female, as can be told by te blade-like ovipositor at the end of the abdomen. She may be immature, or simply a wingless adult.”

 

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Another for your eggs page?
Hi. 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your site for months (some people would probably say I’ve been enjoying it too much; I think the whole household is getting tired of being called in to see some weird/beautiful/crazy bug!). It’s helped me with several buggy identity questions. But, finally I’ve got one that has me stumped. Found these on a dead branch of an heirloom rose bush (Zepherine Drouhin, 1861) this afternoon, and am totally clueless. At first I thought scale, then hibernating insects…once I pried a couple loose (believe me, they were stuck down quite well!), and saw that they were the same featurless pearly lavender grey on the underside, I realized I was looking at egg cases. But of what? We don’t get a whole lot of insect life on the plants (aside from 2005’s Japanese Beetle invasion), being on the third floor, so it’s most likely something that flies. We’ve had an exceptionally mild winter here in Maryland (so mild I hesitate to glorify it with ‘winter’, in fact), so insect oddities are sure to abound this summer. These are about 1/8 of an inch long, neatly tiled (there are six of them in total), and the color is right in the middle between these two photos. I’m just north of Washington DC. I’d kind of like to know what these are before I succumb to my usual ‘bring it inside and see what it hatches into!’ impulse. My roommates may not be happy if I let a hundred or so Japanese Beetles or something hatch in the kitchen! (but I’ll be a hero to the cats for bringing them toys.
judy renee

Hi Judy,
Just think of the thrill your household will get when you show them your letter posted. These are Katydid Eggs. Katydids lay their disklike eggs in the fall. The eggs of the angularwinged katydid are 0.125 to 0.15 inch long and laid in two overlapping rows on the surface of twigs and leaves, just as your photo indicates.

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SUMMER EXPLORING
hello bugman!
last summer, i went hiking in Fairmont, BC (in canada). we drove up behind some very cool hoodoos, but along the way we came across this REALLY creepy looking bug. i took several pictures of it while it was digging or poking its stinger into the ground. this image was the last one, after it retracted it, and then we ran away. i was wondering what type of bug it was that i was so fearful of.
Thanks!
hoodoo explorer

Dear Hoodoo Explorer,
This is a female Mormon Cricket in the genus Anabrus, one of the Long Horned Katydids. She was in the process of laying eggs.

Update from David Gracer (06/12/2006)
www.slshrimp.com
The Mormon Cricket got its name from the colorful tale of a plague on the newly-arrived Mormons who were threatened with devastation, but saved by a vast flock of seagulls that swept down and ate up the bugs. These insects were an important staple in the diets of many Indian groups. DeFoliart has catalogued the many ways that the insects were gathered and prepared; most of the accounts were written by white observers of Indian culture in the 1800s. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve been told repeatedly that the ones that have eaten the farmer’s alfalfa taste MUCH better than the ones that have eaten sage. This is one of the species that, at least in some years, could easily be mass-harvested or cultivated for either human consumption or, perhaps more realistically, as animal feed.

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Orange Katydid
Hi
I came across your website when i was looking for info on what seemed to be a pretty unusual insect. The picture was taken in SW Virginia. How rare do you think this is?
Thanks
Gary

Hi Gary,
According to our Audubon Insect Guide: the Oblong Winged Katydid, Amblycorypha oblongifolia, is “Leaf-green or rarely pastel pink or tan.” I guess in some peoples’ opinion, tan might be viewed as orange. The color morph is still rare. We have received pink specimen photos, but never this color.

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Moth and katydid
Hi,
Attached are two pictures of a moth and one of a female katydid. Both species were photographed at low elevations in southwestern Oregon. The moth was at a Tansy Ragwort flower in late summer close to the coast, and there may have been two species present or both sexes of one species. I suspect it (they?) is a member of the genus Ctenucha. I found the katydid on our deck after a cold night in late autumn and I placed it on a leaf to photograph it. I think the katydid is a member of the shield back group (given that structure, it should be!), but I have not been able to identify it. Your website is excellent. If you can use these photographs in any way, please feel free to do so.
Bob Pollock
Roseburg, OR

Hi Bob,
Your moth is a Ctenucha and we wrote to Eric Eaton to see if he recognized your Katydid. Here is his response: ” Well, that’s just plain bizarre! I don’t recognize it, and it is very difficult to tell anything conclusive from a dorsal aspect alone. However, it does remind me of an insect in the katydid genus Neduba. The powers that be have reorganized that genus, so I couldn’t begin to tell you what species it might be. There is also always the possibility that it is something exotic that got loose. My bet would still be on Neduba. Any chance this person can post it to Bugguide where it will get more (professional) eyes looking at it? Eric ” We would like to post your Katydid on BugGuide to see if we can get an exact species. If you don’t mind, please let us know.

Ed. Note: Eric Eaton continued to research including getting an expert opinion from Rick Westcott who is retired from the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. Here is that information on the Sierra Shieldback, Neduba sierranus :
Holotypic male, from Orthoptera Species File Online (Naskrecki & Otten 1997+), Of course, the image you sent is of a female. If not the same species, it is close. The same Google search did not turn up this species as occurring in Oregon. Cheerio chap, Rick Westcott, retired from the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture ” Eric concluded with this comment: “Wish my friend had included the species name with this image of a Neduba, but at least he lists the site. The submission could well be a range extension for the species, don’t know yet.”

Hi again, Attached are two more photographs of the unusual katydid. One is from the side and the other is a close-up of the unusual dorsal structure. The katydid was so different from other katydids I have seen that I should have collected it but, of course, I didn’t. I hope it’s not an exotic that might prove to be a problem – we have more than enough of those already! I didn’t measure it, but the katydid was about the same size as the Fork-tailed Bush Katydids I had photographed in the summer. If anyone needs higher-resolution files for identification purposes, please let me know. And please feel free to post the pictures on BugGuide. Thanks for all your help and for the Ctenucha verification.
Bob

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What kind is this?
Took this picture in Real County and don’t know what kind of grasshopper it is , It
was very long about 4 inches.
Thanks,
Bev

Hi Bev,
This is a Greater Arid Land Predaceous Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, a female recognizeable by her stingerlike ovipositor. There is a dramatic account of them on BugGuide.

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