Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid

Green Bug!! aka: Possible, preveiously unseen phasmid/timema found in the southern St Croix River Valley just outside the Twin Cities
August 11, 2009
Now I could be totally wrong on all this because I really don’t practice entomology, but it’s been one of those random moments that makes me realize I probably should. Oh, and I also feel I should mention that I’ve seen more fireflies and random small hunting-spiders this year than any year in the past few that I can recall. It could mean nothing, it could mean everything…. {Disregard}
So I caught this random bug last night. It looked like a green grasshopper at first glance, so the first thing I thought was “What’s a grasshopper doing out flying at night?” I looked closer and noticed the long antennae and hind legs.
I looked it up as best I could through Google and ended up here after turning up nothing on Wikipedia and found the closest visual match to be the green timema pictures on this site, however my specimen has transparent/green wings that folded up across its back much like a native green grasshopper.
I let that one go outside last night, then saw another identical bug this morning, only this time, I got pictures and a better view of it.
Took these pictures with my phone so the resolution isn’t the best, but all of the legs have sparse red bristles on them, and the feet of it appear to be a small hook-like structure. They cling easily to most surfaces, even glass so I’m guessing it’s like a house-fly’s feet.
That’s about all the info I have to offer aside from pictures. Hope this is some good material for you guys. If I see another one of these, I’ll catch it and keep it until I hear back from you just in case it’s something important.
Erik C Larsen, mad scientist
William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St Croix, Minnesota, North America

Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid
Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid

Dear Erik,
Your letter is so entertaining.  This is not a Timema.  It is a Scudder’s Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia, probably Scudderia furcata,
the Fork-Tailed Bush KatydidIt is a male specimen as evidenced by its unique forked subgenital plate.  You may read more on the genus page on BugGuide.

Correction from Eric Eaton
August 18, 2009
Ok, here are all the identifications:
Also, the “fork-tailed bush katydid” from Minnesota, dated August 11, is actually a male “northern bush katydid,” Scudderia septetrionalis, the only species without a supra-anal plate over the curving subgenital plate (I know, I know that makes perfect sense if you are an entomologist….:-).
Keep up the great work!

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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