Female American Shieldback

Subject: Friendly Crickets?
Location: Northeast Georgia
October 8, 2016 9:44 am
Recently, I’ve been making a few Cricket friends, including Katydids every once in a while. My wife has been fascinated how they seem to love to land on me on our porch, and then even follow me inside and sit next to me at my desk. Friendly little buggers… I just calmly talk to them and even handle them when they show up. I even feed and give them water, which they love.
Attached is photo of my newest friend I made last night, landing on my leg and riding inside with me. So he is still here this morning, after he walked all over my office thoughout the night, I picked him up again and put him in the open window. He’s still not going anywhere. lol, drinking his water now.
So I wanted to ask what insight you may have for this behavior? I’ve heard they actually keep them as pets in China? Also, what kind of cricket is this anyway? (He’s the second one that has come to hang out with me)
Also, a katydid that wouldn’t leave my kitchen after I fed him last month, would actually sing to me when I walked in. I’m serious, was wonderful, and he was great.
Signature: Frog

American Shieldback
American Shieldback

Dear Frog,
This is a female American Shieldback,
Atlanticus americanus, a species of Katydid, and the swordlike ovipositor is the feature that identifies her as female.  We verified her identification on BugGuide and according to BugGuide, she is a:  “Predator and scavenger of other insects, but will also feed on live vegetation.”  Insects spend a great percentage of their lives seeking sustenance and water, and though we do not want to downplay your unique relationship with Katydids, when a hungry insect is presented with food, it will eat.  We suspect your own sensitivity to the creatures around you is more of a factor than any overt attraction to you directly, as an individual, by the Katydids.  Once we become aware of the subtle things around us, we notice them more.  We suspect you are more observant, and open-minded than the average person who might encounter a Katydid.

American Shieldback
American Shieldback

You are awesome, and thank you. 😉
In hopes that many more join this state of mind / being.
Your friend,

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