How Do Katydids Make Noise? Unraveling Nature’s Acoustic Mystery

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Katydids, a fascinating group of insects related to grasshoppers and crickets, are known for the unique sounds they produce. These intriguing creatures exhibit a variety of distinct noises as a means of communication and mating.

Within the vast world of katydids, there are approximately 6,400 species worldwide. They create their signature sounds by engaging in a process known as stridulation. Essentially, the insects rub specialized body parts together, generating an impressive array of chirps and clicks.

The Science of Katydid Sounds

Stridulation and How It Works

Katydids, like their close relatives crickets, produce sound through a process called stridulation. The main mechanism involves rubbing two body parts against each other, generating friction and sound vibrations.

A key feature of stridulation in katydids is the use of a specialized file and scraper system on their wings.

The Role of Wings and Hind Legs

Katydids have unique wings that play an essential role in sound production. The sharp edge of the right front wing moves rapidly against a file-like ridge on the left wing, creating their distinct song.

On the other hand, crickets mainly use their hind legs for stridulation, rubbing their wings’ edge against the legs’ toughened edges.

Here’s a comparison table of sound production in katydids and crickets:

Katydids Crickets
1. Use wings and file-scraper system Primarily use hind legs and wings
2. Produce pure-tone songs Create mostly continuous sounds
3. Commonly found in deciduous trees Found in grasslands and open areas
  • Key features of katydid sound production include:
    • Stridulation as the primary method
    • Use of file and scraper system on wings
    • Production of pure-tone songs
    • Belonging to the Orthoptera order

In conclusion, the science behind katydid sounds is an intriguing study of biomechanics and sound production. Their specialized wings and stridulation process set them apart from other insects, creating their unique song that fills the air in warm summertime evenings.

Types of Katydid Calls and Their Meanings

Calling Song and Mating Call

Katydids make unique calls using their wings, producing the familiar “katy-did-katy-didn’t” song. This calling song serves to attract potential mates, as males create the sound by rubbing their wings together. Their mating call, on the other hand, is a shorter, louder, and more distinct chirp to initiate courtship.

Courtship Song

Once a female katydid is nearby, the male performs a softer, rhythmic courtship song. This song is less focused on loudness and more on establishing a connection with the female. It consists of intricate patterns that convey the male’s intentions and quality as a mate.

Rhythms and Frequencies

Different katydid species produce distinct rhythms and frequencies in their calls. Some factors at play:

  • Pitch: Varies between species; can also change based on temperature and surroundings
  • Frequency: High or low depending on the intended audience (mates, rivals, or predators)
  • Rhythm: Complex, syncopated patterns for courtship, or simpler and faster for attracting mates

Here are some examples of katydid calls:

  • Black-Legged Meadow Katydid: Produces a “tic-tic buzzzzzzzz” pattern
  • Bush Katydid: Found in shrubby areas, with distinctive song patterns from others in its genus
  • Robust Conehead Katydid: Known for its green, cone-shaped head and unique calls

Some characteristics of katydid calls:

  • Attract mates
  • Initiate courtship
  • Deter rivals or predators
  • Vary in pitch, frequency, and rhythm

Below is a comparison table of different types of calls:

Type of Call Purpose Characteristics
Calling Song Attract mates Louder, more distinct, simpler patterns
Mating Call Initiate courtship Short, sharp chirps
Courtship Song Establish connection with mate Softer, rhythmic, intricate patterns

In conclusion, katydids produce diverse calls to communicate with other members of their species for various purposes, from attracting mates to initiating courtship.

Katydid Mating and Communication

Attracting Mates

  • Mating call: Katydids perform mating signals by rubbing their wings together to produce their distinct call. This is primarily done by the males to attract females for mating purposes.
  • Frequency diversity: The insects evolved a high diversity of singing frequencies, resulting in high-frequency musical calls, allowing each species to occupy a unique acoustic niche.

Male and Female Katydids Interaction

  • Intermale communication: Katydids also engage in intermale communication, allowing them to identify rival males and secure potential mates.
  • Directional hearing: Both male and female katydids possess advanced hearing capabilities, located on their front legs, enabling them to accurately locate other individuals.

Courtship Rituals

  • Courtship behaviors: In some species, such as the Giant Katydid (Siliquofera grandis), females may mate multiple times during their life, interacting with various males and laying up to 400 eggs.
Feature Male Katydids Female Katydids
Main purpose of acoustic communication Attracting females and identifying rivals Finding suitable mate and analyzing rivals
Frequency diversity Unique, high-frequency mating signals Capable of interpreting male songs

By understanding the intricacies of katydid mating and communication, scientists can gain valuable insight into the behavioral patterns and evolution of these fascinating insects.

Katydid Life Cycle and Behavior

Seasonal Activity Patterns

Katydids, relatives of crickets and grasshoppers, are most active during the night in the summer months. They are known for their loud sounds, mainly produced by males to attract females. Some examples of their activity patterns include:

  • High activity levels during late summer
  • Mostly nocturnal movements
  • Feeding on leaves and other insects

Hatching and Development

The development of katydids starts with the female laying oval-shaped eggs on twigs, leaves, or stems. In North America, they typically hatch in spring. Once hatched, nymphs go through several stages before becoming an adult. Key points in this phase include:

  • Hatching from oval-shaped eggs
  • Feeding on tree crickets and other insects as nymphs
  • Transitioning to adulthood in late summer

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a critical role in the behavior and life cycle of katydids. Some examples of these factors are:

  • Warmer temperatures in summer months lead to increased activity
  • Access to leaves for feeding
  • Availability of tree crickets and other insects as food

Comparison between katydids and crickets:

Feature Katydids Crickets
Sound “Katy-did-katy-didn’t” song Chirping sound
Activity time Night Night
Body shape Long and slender Smaller and rounder
Diet Leaves, fruits, insects Plant materials, other insects

Overall, both katydids and crickets share some similarities in terms of nocturnal behavior and dietary preferences. However, they differ in body shape and sounds.

Physical Attributes and Their Impact on Sound

Size and Sound Volume

  • Katydids vary in size and, as a result, so does the volume of the sounds they produce.
  • Larger katydids tend to produce louder sounds, while smaller ones are generally more quiet.

For example:

  • Grasshoppers, which are related to katydids, also produce sound, but their sound volume is typically lower due to their smaller size.

Different Noises Produced

Katydids produce various sounds, which can be categorized as:

  1. Chirping noise: A short, sharp sound often produced during mating calls.
  2. Clicking noise: A softer sound made by rubbing their wings together.
  3. Buzzing noise: A continuous sound, somewhat similar to a bee’s buzz, used when alarmed or disturbed.

The sound-producing mechanism consists of tymbals, structures on katydids’ wings, responsible for creating a range of noises:

Sound Type Grasshoppers Katydids Tymbal Usage
Chirping ✔️ ✔️ Rubbing
Clicking ✔️ ✔️ Rubbing
Buzzing ✔️ Rapid rubbing
  • Tymbals play a crucial role in enabling katydids to produce a variety of sounds through wing rubbing.
  • Some katydids are known for producing harsh sounds, which can be startling to humans and deter predators.

Katydids and Humans

Role in Nature and Ecosystems

Katydids are fascinating insects belonging to the family Tettigoniidae, commonly known for their loud chirping noise and resemblance to green leaves. These creatures play a crucial role in the environment as they act as both predators and prey. Here are some of their characteristics:

  • Typically green in color, mimicking leaves
  • Super-long antennae, often longer than their body
  • Harmless to humans, but can damage crops

Katydids are an essential part of the food web, feeding on other insects and plants, while also serving as prey for birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

Managing Katydid Noise

The loud chirping noise produced by katydids can sometimes be a nuisance to humans, especially during summer nights when they are most active. However, there are various ways to manage katydid noise:

Method Pros Cons
Screen Keeps katydids away from windows Doesn’t eliminate their presence
Repellent Deters katydids from your area May affect other insects
Soundproofing Reduces noise coming into the home Can be costly and time-consuming

Using a screen on windows and doors can help prevent katydids from entering your home, while utilizing a repellent in your yard can discourage them from congregating nearby. Additional measures, such as soundproofing your home, can further minimize the noise impact.

To summarize, katydids contribute significantly to the ecosystem and are generally harmless to humans. However, their loud noises may occasionally cause some discomfort. By applying methods like using screens, repellents, and soundproofing techniques, humans can effectively manage the noise produced by these fascinating insects.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Forest Katydid: Unknown Caribbean Orthopteran with Cyan-colored Eyes is Nesonotus tricornis


Subject:  Blue eyed grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Saint Lucia, Lesser Antilles
Date: 04/19/2021
Time: 08:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  No photo shop!!    This grasshopper, found in the open bathroom of our guest house here in Saint Lucia,  has electric blue eyes.     Date, April 19.     Local man says it is a “Clap-Clap” from call at night.   Is it known?   An earlier post had photo of this insect as “unknown orthopteran”.
How you want your letter signed:  Madeleine

Unknown Cyan-eyed Ensiferan from Santa Lucia

Dear Madeleine,
We cannot believe that 13 years have passed since that 2008 posting of the Unknown Caribbean Orthopteran with blue eyes, and there is a noticeable dearth of images online that illustrate this amazing insect.  It is also quite interesting that you also took images of this same unidentified Orthopteran in Saint Lucia, so there must be a population of them on the island.  First we would like to make a few corrections.  This is not a Grasshopper.  Grasshoppers are Orthopterans, but they have short antennae.  The members of the order with long antennae belong to the suborder Ensifera which includes Katydids and Crickets.  Also, we originally referred to this eye color as blue, but in teaching the color wheel to our photo and cinema students, we draw a distinction between the colors blue and cyan, and the eye color of this critter is definitely cyan.  See Reddit or Quora for the difference between blue and cyan.  That said, we are still not able to provide a species identification for this awesome insect.  We will attempt to contact Piotr Naskrecki who is an expert in Katydids to see if he recognizes it.

Unknown Cyan-eyed Ensiferan from Santa Lucia

Thank you very much!    Since I wrote you, I found Nesonotus tricornis on the internet.   It seems to be a perfect match.     What do you think?   Yes, Katydid of course, and yes, Cyan.    A local man here in St Lucia saw my picture (I have others, by the way) and said it was a “clack-clack” for the noise it makes at night.    We have been hearing a katydid or two sing (or clack, it is kind of mechanical) at night.    Quite low pitched.
We loved this insect!    He was calm, drank some water, walked on us, didn’t fly….though I suppose eventually it did.
Madeleine Love (usually in Maine)

Unknown Cyan-eyed Ensiferan from Santa Lucia

Update:  Thank you so much for getting back to us Madeleine, and based on images posted to Nature Picture Library (where Piotr Naskrecki provided the image) and iNaturalist, we agree that this is likely Nesonotus tricornis.  According to the Dutch Caribbean Species Register, the common name is Forest Katydid.

Letter 2 – Great Black Wasp and Katydid prey


cricket eating big black bee?
I stumbled onto your web site and figured I’d ask you what the heck is this big black bee, and why is it eating a cricket? I got a picture of it dragging it into it’s hole in the ground. What is it?
Andy from Upstate, NY

Hi Andy,
Your bee is actually a wasp known as a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pennsylvanicus. It has captured a Katydid, not a cricket. The wasp will not eat the Katydid, but instead lay an egg on its paralyzed body. The larval wasp then has a fresh supply of meat. Like most wasps, the adult Great Black Wasps feed on nectar and pollen.  They are not considered an aggressive species.

Letter 3 – Great Green Bush Cricket from UK


bug on the beach in cornwall UK in august
Hi there
This appeared on the beach in Cornwall, in South West England in August 2007. It was about 3 inches in length. Can you please identify it for me? Thanks

Hi Lyn,
This is a Great Green Bush Cricket, Tettigonia viridissima. She is a female as evidenced by her long, stingerlike ovipositor. We originally identified the species by googling “Katydid England”, since members in the family Tettigoniidae are known as Katydids in the U.S. That search led to Wikipedia and a quick identification. A distinguishing feature of the family is the length of the antennae, which have sadly been cropped in your otherwise awesome image.

Letter 4 – Female Mexican Bush Katydid from Arizona


Subject: grasshoppers
Location: Madera Canyon, AZ
November 4, 2016 2:18 pm
Many different species of grasshopper in the multible biomes of this southeastern part of Arizona near the Sky Islands and in Madera Canyon. A mix of oak woodlands, succulents and pines in the upper region. I’ve tried to ID them online, but nothing looks quite what I photographed. One naturalist said one was a differential grasshopper, but again I didn’t see the resemblance.
Signature: Thank you, Leanne Grossman

Female Katydid
Female Mexican Bush Katydid

Dear Leanne,
Anyone who uses the term “biomes” in a request is worth corresponding with in our estimation.  While all of your submitted images depict members of the order Orthoptera which includes Grasshoppers, not all of your Orthopterans are Grasshoppers.  The green individual with the long antennae is a Katydid, and the antennae distinguish Longhorned Orthopterans from the suborder Ensifera from the Grasshoppers which are classified in the suborder Caelifera.  The upturned, sickle-like ovipositor identifies your Katydid as a female, and the shape of the ovipositor is often a factor in species identification.  Alas, we have not the necessary skills to identify your species without research, but we wanted to begin the posting nonetheless.  Since Katydids are categorized separately from Grasshoppers on our site, we will finish addressing this identification as well as your other images in the near future.

Update:  Hello again Leanne,
Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your female Katydid is a Mexican Bush Katydid,
Scudderia mexicana, and despite its name, its natural range includes both the Southwestern States and Mexico.  Insects have no respect for international borders.  The fun site Arizona:  Beetles Bugs Birds and more has a December 13, 2011 posting that includes an awesome image of a female from the genus using her ovipositor to create a repository for her eggs on their proper food plant.

Thank you again, Daniel. Best regards,

Letter 5 – Greater Arid-Land Katydid


4″ green bug
July 13, 2011
Location:  Jacksboro, TX
Can you please tell me what kind of bug this is? It was found in Jacksboro, TX.
Sherri C

Greater Arid-Land Katydid

The Greater Arid-Land Katydid is also called a Red Eyed Devil.  It is a predatory Katydid and your individual is a male.

Letter 6 – Female Katydid


Subject: What type of bug is this in Oviedo, FL
Location: Oviedo, FL
August 2, 2014 9:32 am
Found inside screen enclosure. Body is approximately 3″ long
Signature: PT

Female KAtydid
Female KAtydid

Dear PT,
You can tell that this is a female Katydid by the ovipositor protruding from the end of her wings on the tip of her abdomen.  This is a very atypical coloration, as most Katydids are green, but occasionally pink or brown individuals are sighted.  We are not certain of the species, so we are contacting Piotr Naskrecki for assistance in ascertaining the species.

Letter 7 – Female Katydid


Subject: insect i.d.
Location: T/Saugerties, C/Ulster, New York
August 3, 2017 7:46 pm
I found this insect in swimming pool in Saugerties, Ulster County, New York. It has green translucent wings; green katydid-like legs; size 1-½ to 2”; striped abdomen; and that other green thing (ovipositer?) underneath.
Your thoughts on the i.d. are appreciated.
Signature: Thank you, Arnette

Female Katydid

Dear Arnette,
This is definitely a female Katydid, and that is definitely an ovipositor.  We believe this is a Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia.  Because it drowned in the pool, the appearance of the abdomen, including the stripes, might be due to water absorption.

Letter 8 – Female Katydid


Subject:  Green ceiling crawler
Geographic location of the bug:  Dublin, Georgia
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 12:18 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy has been crawling on my ceiling the past few days. He hasn’t done any harm, and appears to only move during the night because each day I’ve looked at him before going to bed, and he’s in a new spot the next morning. He doesn’t change position too much after that, if at all. As much as his weirdness has added to my day (because how can he not when he’s hanging above your head?), I would like to know what he is so that when I manage to finally get him down, I can put him in a good spot outside to continue on with his life. Unless him missing his 6th leg is a problem. If it isn’t, hopefully he’ll stay away from houses in the future.
How you want your letter signed:  Sara

Female Katydid

Dear Sara,
Your guy is actually a female Katydid.  Her ovipositor, an organ used to lay eggs, is visible in one of your images.

Letter 9 – Female Katydid from Iraq


Subject: Katydid from Iraq?
Location: Iraq, near baghdad
September 20, 2015 10:22 am
What sort of katydid is this? Picture was taken somewhere in the arabian/syrian desert, probably in Iraq within 100 miles of Baghdad.
Signature: dj33


Dear dj33,
Unlike the U.S., the U.K. or Australia which have very nice online databases for insect identification, there is not much from Iraq.  Other that agreeing that this is a Katydid, and that it is a female, we cannot provide a species identification at this time.  We did locate a LandesMuseum article A taxonomic study of the long-horned grasshoppers of Jordan (Orthoptera:  Tettigoniidae) but we were unable to make any identifications.

Letter 10 – Female Lesser Meadow Katydid


Subject: Found odd insect on my tire
Location: Pennsylvania
November 16, 2015 12:08 am
Just purely out of curioisity i was wondering what bug this is,I tried to look it up but could not find anything that exactly looked likes this bug it almost looks like a cricket but has what looks to be a big stinger on the back of it.
Signature: -Trevor

Female Lesser Meadow Katydid
Female Lesser Meadow Katydid

Dear Trevor,
This is a Lesser Meadow Katydid in the genus
Conocephalus and the straight ovipositor on her posterior end identifies her as a female.  We are not certain of the species, but BugGuide provides some great images of various species in the genus.

Letter 11 – Female Oak Bush Cricket from the UK


Subject: What’s this bug?!
Location: UK
August 10, 2017 5:57 am
Hi Bugman, I’ve been looking on google to identify this as at first I thought it was a grasshopper but have found nothing similar to the “claw” on its abdomen.
I found the bug in the midlands in the UK. We have a relatively cloudy climate, but it’s been very sunny lately.
Signature: Thank you! Sev

Female Oak Bush Cricket

Dear Sev,
The “claw” is actually the ovipositor used by this female Ensiferan to lay her eggs.  In North America, these are called Katydids, and in Europe they are called Bush Crickets.  We believe your individual is an Oak Bush Cricket, 
Meconema thalassinum, which we identified on Insects and other Arthropods.  We also found the species represented on BugGuide where it is called a Drumming Katydid, and according to BugGuide, the range is  “Southern New England and British Columbia” but it “has been introduced from Europe.”

Letter 12 – Female Shieldback Katydid from France


Hello There
Location: Mediterranean border of France and Spane
June 27, 2011 9:52 pm
This bug was found on a road near the mediterranean border of Spain and France.
I’d be much pleased if you could identify it for me. Thank you!
Signature: Norman

Shieldback Katydid

Hi Norman,
This is a female (as evidenced by the swordlike ovipositor) Shieldback Katydid.  Your photo is quite blurry, but we hope Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki of Harvard is able to assist in a species identification.

Piotr Naskrecki provides some information
Hi Daniel,
I cannot ID the species, but this is almost certainly the genus Ephippiger.

Letter 13 – Female Straight Lanced Meadow Katydid


Subject: Unknown Cricket?
Location: Virginia
August 12, 2012 3:58 pm
Hello, I opened my door yesterday and found this little guy/gal? on my doorknob around 4 pm. It hopped [a rather long way] into my room and I had to shoo it out with a piece of paper.
Signature: Dia

Straight Lanced Meadow Katydid

Hi Dia,
This little lady is a Straight Lanced Meadow Katydid,
Conocephalus strictus, and though it is not indicated on BugGuide, we suspect the straight lance is a reference to her lengthy, straight oviopositor, the organ the female uses to lay eggs.  Many Katydids have curved ovipositors so the shape of the Straight Lanced Meadow Katydid’s ovipositor is somewhat unique.  BugGuidelists the habitat as:  “Dry grasslands, old fields with grasses.”  Many Katydids are attracted to lights, and that might be the reason she was on your door.

Straight Lanced Meadow Katydid

Letter 14 – Female Treetop Bush Katydid Nymph from Maine


What is this bug?
Location: Northern Maine
August 27, 2011 8:27 pm
We are up in Maine and saw this insect today beside the house and was wondering what kind it is, I had thought katydid but failed to find any pictures matching this one. The curved brown thing on its hind end intrigues me as well. Thanks!
Signature: Randy

Immature Female Treetop Bush Katydid

Hi Randy,
Your photo of what be believe to be an immature female Treetop Bush Katydid,
Scudderia fasciata, has been on our desktop all day while we took Sunday off.  It took us a bit of time researching on BugGuide, but we believe that we may have the identification correct.  The problem is that we are basing the identification of your nymphet on a photo of an adult female Treetop Bush Katydid, and sometimes nymphs differ from adults considerably.

Letter 15 – Female Wart-Biter


Hi there,
My dad took this picture when he visited his sister in Spain last Autumn. We have looked all over to find out what it is but no luck. Can you help us out? We look forward to hearing from you!
Carolyn Richards

Hi Carolyn,
In English speaking Europe, Shield-Back Katydids are called Wart-Biters. This specimen is a female.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Spanish saddle-backed katydid – Uromenus sp.

Letter 16 – Fork Tailed Bush Katydid


Hi…Is this a differentiated grasshopper? It was in the carport today in Silver Lake, near downtown Los Angeles but kinda up in the hills. Thanks…
Brad R

Hi Brad,
The Fork Tailed Bush Katydid is a very common inhabitant in our nearby Mt. Washington garden.

Letter 17 – Fork Tailed Bush Katydid


We have Fork Tailed Bush Katydids eating our Chryslar Imperial roses at the What’s That Bug? Headquarters.

Letter 18 – Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid


Any ideas? Found it outside my home in San Diego, CA.

Hi Ryan,
This is a female Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia mexicana. They are attracted to our Los Angeles porch light right now, and we let the adults eat our rose buds because we enjoy the sounds they make. Charles Hogue, in Insects of the Los Angeles Basis wrote: “It song is also slightly different: males usually lisp (“zeek”) in a series of three or four a few seconds apart, although a shorter-pulsed sound (“zip”) is also made; ticking seems to be rare.”

Letter 19 – 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!

Letter 20 – Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid gets free meal!!!


katydid diet
Hi Bugman,
My husband and I have been adopted by what I believe is a katydid (photos below). S/he’s missing a back leg but otherwise seems okay and has been living on our patio for the past two days. I’ve been feeding our new friend romaine and “spring mix” lettuces, which s/he consumes with great enthusiasm. Still, I am wondering what his/her native diet might be … There are no plants on our patio, and I would like to feed this elegant insect whatever food to which s/he is accustomed. Also, s/he spends the night inside of a little, open-ended box I provided — crawling inside of it on her/his own shortly after sunset, albeit *very* slowly, as though affected by the cooler evening temperatures… So, also, if you have information regarding this creature’s temperature requirements for optimal metabolism, I would appreciate it. This may sound odd, but we’re becoming fond of our little friend and would like to keep it happy and healthy for as long as it chooses to stay with us.
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving,
Kelly Neill
San Diego, CA (beach area)

Hi Kelly,
Yours is the second rescue letter we are posting today. This is a Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia mexicana. Your specimen looks like a female. The diet you are supplying is fine. Katydids eat foliage from many trees and shrubs. In our Mt. Washington garden, they are plentiful now and have a fondness for chewing rose petals and buds, which doesn’t make us happy. We don’t kill them as we love Katydids, but we shoo them off of our rose bushes with a hose. Usually they fly into the pine trees and return to the roses the next day. Temperature wise, they will survive the cooler winter temperatures, but they have a life expectancy of less than a year. Good luck with your new pet.

Thanks, Daniel, for your email and the information you provided. Our little lady fled the coup (patio) this afternoon… I now know she’s a she because I researched Scudderia Mexicana this morning after seeing an online photo named as such which resembled her, and then discovering that she has an ovipositer. Still, you are the only resource I’ve found insofar as her diet is concerned, let alone her lifespan… Now I’ll know what I need to know should another Scudderia happen along. I was thrilled to find your site. My husband and I moved back to California last month after spending almost a year in southwest Florida, where exotic little animals of every sort are abundant — and where we both rather unexpectedly became interested in interesting-looking bugs. I took lots of photos there of you-name-it moths, beetles, and wasps (“you-name-it” because I still have *no* specific idea of what some of these creatures were), but dropped the hobby after returning to California. I thought I’d never have a noteworthy encounter with a bug out here (over-familiarity making for a lack of appreciation), until this katydid showed up. I now hope to discover that which I previously ignored as a California native. Anyway, my husband and I very much appreciate what you’re doing with Thanks for sharing everyone’s photos, your gifts and your wisdom. You have two new fans.

Letter 21 – Giant Katydid Nymph


Subject:  Is this a grasshopper? Katydid? Hybrid? Help!
Geographic location of the bug:  Boynton Beach, Florida
Date: 06/10/2018
Time: 07:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! I have a lovely bug who lives in my little patio lime tree, and I cannot figure out what it is! It is currently in the process of growing wings, but it had a very broad, flat back with what looks like a plate of armour. Please help!
How you want your letter signed:  Cheers, Jenna

Giant Katydid Nymph

Dear Jenna,
Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is a Giant Katydid nymph,
Stilpnochlora couloniana.  According to BugGuide:  “Largest katydid in U.S, over 65 mm long.”  The Singing Insects of North America, a site credited to the University of Florida Entomology Department, has nice images of the life cycle of the Giant Katydid.  Keeping Insects has a nice article on the Giant Katydid.

Hi Daniel!!
Thanks so much for getting back to me! I just looked at the links you sent and I believe you are correct, those look exactly like it! And oh my gosh I didn’t know giant katydids were an actual thing, they are HUGE!!!
Thanks again 🙂

Letter 22 – Greater Angle-Wing Katydid


Big ol’ Katydid
Location: Toledo, OH
October 5, 2011 8:37 am
Definitely my biggest insect find yet, and on my own house even! I believe this is an angle-winged katydid, and a big fat one at that. Have a wonderful day!
Signature: Katy (didn’t)

Greater Angle-Wing Katydid

Dear Katy (didn’t),
We agree that this is an Angle-Wing Katydid, most likely
Microcentrum rhombifolium, the Greater Angle-Wing Katydid or Broad Wing Katydid.  We are unable to tell from the angle of view if this is a male or a female, but often with insects, the female is the larger of the sexes.

Letter 23 – Greater Angle-Winged Katydid


Subject: Large green grasshopper-like bug
Location: Winchester, MA
November 19, 2012 2:19 pm
My daughter & I found this bug a few weeks ago (late Oct.) in Winchester, MA. Actually, it found us–it flew down and landed on my leg! It was several inches long & seemed like some kind of grasshopper. From the side, it looked very much like a leaf. It was really amazing! Can you help us identify it? Thanks!
Signature: Jamie S.

Greater Angle-Winged Katydid

Hi Jamie,
This is a Katydid and they are related to Grasshoppers, but they can be distinguished by their much longer antennae.  We believe it is the Greater Angle-Winged Katydid,
Microcentrum rhombifolium.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults active in late summer and fall. September-November (Michigan).”

Greater Angle-Winged Katydid

Letter 24 – Greater Angle Winged Katydid Nymph


Subject: No idea what it is.
Location: Central, New Jersey
July 26, 2015 11:38 am
My son and I like to look for bugs and we came across this big old thing. He was missing a leg but was wingless and just sitting on a leaf.
Signature: Mike g

Greater Angle Winged Katydid Nymph
Greater Angle Winged Katydid Nymph

Dear Mike,
We believe we have correctly identified your Katydid as a Greater Angle Winged Katydid nymph,
Microcentrum rhombifolium, based on this image posted to BugGuide.

Greater Angle Winged Katydid Nymph
Greater Angle Winged Katydid Nymph

Letter 25 – Greater Arid-Land Katydid


grasshopper question
Dear What’s That Bug,
Absolutely love your website. This somewhat unglamorous grasshopper appeared in our yard. I had never seen this one before and I did not see it on your website. I’d love to know the species. Thanks,
Diane Young
San Marcos, TX

Hi Diane,
This is not a grasshopper which is why you had trouble locating it on our site. It is a Greater Arid-Land Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, a predatory species that can be located on our Katydid pages.

Letter 26 – Greater Arid-Land Katydid


Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid
Hi there,
I know that you have several photos of this Katydid already, but I couldn’t resist sending you a couple more. This gal is about 4.5 inches long (including her ovipositor) and she was quite sociable and willing to come in the house for a photoshoot. I also live in Central Texas, and I was blown away about how beautiful this insect is. Thanks for the great website!
Allison Egger

Hi Allison,
We feel that we can never have too many excellent photos on our site, but sadly, time does not always permit us to post everything we want to post. Your photo made the cut today and will help other readers identify this distinctive predatory species, the Greater Arid-Land Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa. Thanks for sending it.

Letter 27 – Greater Arid Land Katydid


carnivorous grasshopper…
This grasshopper stalks and eats other grasshoppers, and I have been unable to find any information on it. These pictures were taken in our yard in Cedar Creek, Texas. This one is between 3 1/2 & 4 inches in length (we’re guessing it’s a female) and the males (?) are somewhat smaller and don’t have the spike. These guys hang around on the foliage and wait for foliage-eating grasshoppers to show up. They have huge mandible-looking things and their bodies are armored, but beautiful. We love having them around to help control the others, but would really like more information… Thanks so much,

Hi Caroline,
Your photo of a Greater Arid Land Katydid is wonderful, but we really love your eye witness account of its predatory habits.

Letter 28 – Greater Arid Land Katydid


Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid
I found this katydid, which i believe i have identified by your site, as a Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid at my grandparents house in New Braunfels, Texas, while we were there for a visit. I thought the one of him with his wings spread out was cool. Im guessing this is a defensive pose. Anyway, i hope you can use these pictures.
Michael Davis

Hi Mike,
Your threat posture on this male Greater Arid Land Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, is mighty awesome. Thanks for sending it to our site.

Letter 29 – Greater Arid-land Katydid


What’s this bug?
I found this nice bug outside my Dad’s house in Somerset Texas. Thanks,

Hi Dennis,
What a wonderful image of a Greater Arid-land Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa. This is a predatory species.

Letter 30 – Greater Arid-Land Katydid


Green bug
June 12, 2010
Green bug
Found this on my patio in Abilene Texas.
Abilene, Texas

Greater Arid Land Katydid

Hi Michael,
This is a predatory Katydid in the genus Neobarrettia.  We believe it is the Greater Arid Land Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, sometimes called the Red Eyed Devil according to BugGuide.  This is a gregarious omnivorous species that is found in Texas and a few neighboring states.  We would not discount that it might be the smaller White Eyed Devil, Neobarrettia victoriae, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  The individual in your photo is a female based on her long ovipositor that might be mistaken for a stinger.  These aggressive Katydids are capable of biting and drawing blood.

Letter 31 – Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid


giant central texas hopper – not listed on your site !!!!
sorry to learn of your email problems and hope they are solved so you can check this one out. This guy was more than two inches long and walked around like a cat. Only saw this one and have not seen one since (near the middle of June) I did have a co worker say he saw one about 40 miles from me – that’s it – no other sitings. Whatsthatbug?????????????????
vic vreeland

Hi Vic,
We have several photos on our site of the Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, but they are posted on our Katydid page, not the Grasshopper page. This specimen is a male.

Letter 32 – Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid


I found this thing on my front porch where my giant stick bugs usually rest; I am not sure what it is. Can you help?

Hi Wayne,
We just receive a second letter from Texas that inquired about this insect, but your photo is better. The other person also mentioned large Walkingsticks, so we are guessing you are also from Texas. This impressive creature is a Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid, Neobarrettia spinosa, one of the Shieldbacked Katydids.. It is a female, identified by the spikelike ovipositor. Perhaps she is where the Walkingsticks normally sit because she is eating them. We are printing Dawn’s letter below because it is so descriptive.

(06/15/2006) Large Katydid?
I’m in central Texas and we’ve been invaded by what I believe are large Katydid’s, although I couldn’t find any exactly like these on your site (or any other). Attached are two pictures of the same bug. It measures about 4 inches in length and has very red eyes. It’s the size and the red eyes that don’t seem to match any other picture I’ve been able to find. Can you confirm what it is? We also have very large (7 inches) walking sticks this time of year, which I’d be glad to send pictures of if you’re interested. Thanks so much.
Dawn Jones
Dale, Texas

Letter 33 – Greater Arid Land Predaceous Katydid


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.

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.

Letter 34 – Greater Aridland Predaceous Katydid


Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid
Hi there! Thanks to your awesome website, I was able to identify this enormous, very vocal, Greater Arid-Land Predaceous Katydid (we live in Wimberley, TX). My husband and I heard his loud chirps before we saw him, and caught him for a photo session. He’s since been relocated to the elephant ear plant outside the office door – I can hear him chirping even as I write this. Feel free to use the pics – this guy is especially handsome!
Milly W.

Hi Millie,
We more commonly get photos of female Greater Aridland Predaceous Katydids. Thanks for sending us your photo of a male of the species.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Neobarrettia spinosa

Letter 35 – Greater Meadow Katydid


grasshopper pictures from a fan
Hi Bugman!
I’ve found your site very helpful in many of my bug-naming quests. Bugs generally give me the willies, but there are a couple that I can get close enough to take a picture of. I found a very pretty grasshopper on my patio and grabbed my camera without scaring it away. I didn’t see pictures of this particular one on your site, so I thought I might share it. It was found in Raleigh, NC. Interestingly, he (she?) kept turning it’s head to look at me. I love how you can see it’s pupils (or whatever the bug equivalent may be) in the flash. It reminded me of a mantis, the way I held it’s attention so clearly. Keep up the bug posting!

Hi Joy,
This is actually a Greater Meadow Katydid in the genus Orchelimum. Your specimen is a female, evidenced by the large curved ovipositor. BugGuide has many images of different species and the Audubon Field Guide states: “Each species in this genus has its own sound and range. Identification of the different species is based on a comparative study of male genitalia, of the projecting conical midpart of the head in both sexes, and of the ovipositor.”

Letter 36 – Greater Meadow Katydid


Subject: Cricket? Katydid? Stinger?!?
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
August 21, 2014 6:08 am
My girls found this and thought it to be a grasshopper but it has what appears to be a stinger.
Signature: Michelle

Lesser Pine Katydid
Greater Meadow Katydid

Hi Michelle,
This is a Meadow Katydid in the tribe Conocephalini, and it is in the Greater Meadow Katydid genus
Orchelium. The closest match we located on BugGuide is the Lesser Pine Katydid, Orchelimum minor, or possibly a Common Meadow Katydid, Orchelimum vulgare, also pictured on BugGuide.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is actually the ovipositor, an organ used to lay eggs, which makes this individual a female.

Letter 37 – Grecian Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica


Subject: Strange grasshopper?
Location: Greece
August 18, 2014 12:04 pm
I am on holydays in Greece and I found this large insect dead in my kitchen. Initially I thought it was a grasshopper but I noticed that several features do not much. Would you be so kind to tell me what is it?
Signature: Stell Hai

Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica
Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica

Dear Stell,
This Katydid in the family Tettigonidae is in the same order Orthoptera as the Grasshoppers, but they are in different suborders, which explains their superficial resemblance to one another.  We quickly located a pictorial match on FlickR that is identified as
Saga hellenica, and the image was taken in Delphi, Greece in 1986.  We had hoped to find more than just a name, and that proved to be the case when we found the Orthoptera and their Ecology site where it states:  “The species leads a predatory life and eats mostly other insects.”  We also learned:  “Saga hellenica will be endangered in the long term due to the decline in habitats because of cultivation (afforestation, agricultural intensification, solar parks) and overbuilding (industry, tourism).”  The range is listed as:  “Southeastern Europe (Albania, Macedonia, Greece).”  The pointy ovipositor at the end of the abdomen indicates that this individual is a female.  

Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica
Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica
Predatory Katydid:  Saga hellenica
Predatory Katydid: Saga hellenica



Letter 38 – Handsome Meadow Katydid


Subject:  Grasshopper?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cape May Zoo, NJ
Date: 09/05/2017
Time: 07:13 AM EDT
Found him out side an enclosure. Never seen anything like him with his coloring. Just curious if you could enlighten me.
How you want your letter signed:  Squishy

Handsome Meadow Katydid

Dear Squishy,
This pretty guy is a Handsome Meadow Katydid,
Orchelimum pulchellum, and we identified it thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Identification Note white face with brownish to reddish mottling on edges, brown legs, diffuse turquoise stripe on upper sides back along wings. Eyes usually blue–fairly distinctive.”  Those distinctive blue eyes are clearly visible in your image.  This is the first example of a Handsome Meadow Katydid we have received in the fifteen years we have been editing the What’s That Bug? website.

Letter 39 – Handsome Meadow Katydid


Subject:  Meadow Katydid
Geographic location of the bug:  Chattanooga, TN
Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 11:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I believe this is a female Meadow Katydid but can’t tell which type.  Thoughts??
How you want your letter signed:  Myra Reneau

Handsome Meadow Katydid

Dear Myra,
Because of the blue eyes, we believe your Meadow Katydid is a Handsome Meadow Katydid,
Orchelimum pulchellum, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Note white face with brownish to reddish mottling on edges, brown legs, diffuse turquoise stripe on upper sides back along wings. Eyes usually blue–fairly distinctive.”

Thank you very much for the idea. Feel free to use my photo if you would like to.

Letter 40 – Hatchling Scudder’s Bush Katydid


Subject: Yellow Grasshopper
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
April 19, 2015 11:12 am
I just started photography and was at Lake Lotus Park when I stumbled upon this odd grasshopper perched on a blade of guinea grass. It was yellow and had an odd pattern on its body. It also had very long legs and even longer antennae. I would like to know what it is please. I have attached my best photo although its still not the best.
Signature: Avery

Scudder's Bush Katydid Nymph
Scudder’s Bush Katydid Nymph

Dear Avery,
This is a hatchling Katydid, not a Grasshopper.  Katydids, which are considered Longhorned Orthopterans, have much longer antennae than do Grasshoppers.  We believe your Katydid is a hatchling Scudder’s Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia, and you can see the similarity with the individual in this image on Project Noah.  In our opinion, your image is overexposed, and when we corrected the density, this nymph looks more orange than yellow.

Letter 41 – Immature Angle Winged Katydid


Subject:  Maybe it’s a katydid?
Geographic location of the bug:  Buffalo NY
Date: 07/28/2021
Time: 09:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this sneaky man on a deciduous tree at an evergreen nursery this July and I think it’s a katydid but I can’t see wings!
How you want your letter signed:  Green bug man

Immature Angle Winged Katydid

Dear Green bug man,
This is indeed an immature Katydid and only adults have wings developed enough to fly.  We believe, based on this BugGuide image, that your Katydid is an Angle Winged Katydid in the genus

Letter 42 – Immature Australian Katydid with crest


Dear Bugman,
Hope you will be able to identify this little critter for us. sister-in-law found it on her rose bush on Tue 15 Nov. She then placed it in a large cardboard box (with food) until Sun 20 Nov, the day she returned it to the rose bush. Yesterday, Thu 24 Nov this little critter was still sitting happily on the rose bush. We live in Barcaldine – Central Western Queensland Australia. Trust you can help. Thank you.

Hi Joycelyn,
We sought expert help with your awesome specimen, but cannot come up with an exact species. We can tell you it is some type of Katydid and that it is immature. That crest is so distinctive. In Los Angeles, the Katydids love my rose bushes as well. I usually shoo them away since I don’t like them eating the rose buds, but I am well aware that they just return. Since I really like Katydids, I won’t kill them, but I would really rather have them eating shrubbery leaves.

Update (03/29/2006) We just got the following letter:
Hi Bugman, I noticed the picture of the ‘crested katydid’ you had been sent from Australia. I believe this is the Superb Katydid (Alectoria superba). Hope this is of help. Keep up the good work.
Aaron in London, UK

Letter 43 – Immature Broad-Winged Katydid


Broad-Winged Katydid Nymph
Location:  Mt Washington, Los Angeles
May 20, 2012
While doing yardwork, we stumbled upon this immature Broad-Winged Katydid,
Microcentrum rhombifolium, so we took a few photos before releasing it onto the rose bushes, a favorite spot for the mature Katydids we find in the garden.

Broad-Winged Katydid Nymph

Letter 44 – Immature Bush Katydid


Red and Green Insect
Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 3:08 PM
This picture was taken at Gamble Rodgers Memorial State Recreation Area, Florida on June 1. The site was on the intercoastal Waterway, brackish water and near a nature trail that winds through a shady coastal forest of scrub oaks and saw palmetto.
Flagler Beach, Florida

Immature Katydid
Immature Bush Katydid

Hi Jon,
This is an immature Katydid. It is most probably a Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia. There are similar photos posted to BugGuide. The most likely candidate is the Southeastern Bush Katydid, Scudderia cuneata, whose nymphs are often red and green and they are also pictured on BugGuide.  Many adult Katydid are marvelously camouflaged green insects that are frequently mistaken for grasshoppers.

Letter 45 – Immature Bush Katydid


Subject: This Bug Lives On My Peppers
Location: California, Butte County, wooded foothills
June 18, 2012 3:32 am
This bug has been living on my pepper plant for several days. It is visible all hours of the day. Also living on the same plant is a mantis of approximately the same size. They are often very near each other without any sign of conflict.
It is June, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range in northern California. Elevation is 1600 feet. The bug is about 1/4 inch long currently. I assume it is still small and young (as the mantis certainly is.)
I gather that this bug is beneficial to my garden, as it has the look of a predator, but I would love to know more about it. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
You have a great site! Awesome service!
Signature: Jered

Immature Bush Katydid

Hi Jered,
This is an immature Scudder’s Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia.  Bush Katydids feed on the leaves of a wide variety of plants, but if there are not great numbers of them, they will not cause much harm.  In our own garden, we do not remove Bush Katydids because we feel they do have a positive impact on the environment by providing a food source for birds and other predatory insects and as we have already stated, they do not do much harm to the plants.  Adults, at least in our garden, have a preference for red roses, and though they feed on the petals, we still do not remove them.  Katydid are among the musicians in the insect world, however, the call of the Bush Katydid is not terribly melodic.  Here is what Charles Hogue wrote in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “males usually lisp (‘zeek’) in series of three or four seconds apart, although a shorter pulsed sound (‘zip’) is also made;  ticking seems to be rare.  Females respond after a little over a second with ticking, which attracts the males.”

Letter 46 – Immature Bush Katydid


Subject: Scudders Bush Katydid
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
February 18, 2016 8:54 am
I found this tiny (1/2″) guy hanging out on a flowering shrub in our backyard in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, this week. At first I thought he was a very small grasshopper, but on closer inspection saw that wasn’t the case. After grabbing this photo and looking here, I am the belief he is a Scudders Bush Katydid. I’ve never noticed them before and don’t know if they get much bigger, but interesting colors nonetheless.
Signature: Suzanne

Scudders Bush Katydid
Bush Katydid Nymph

Dear Suzanne,
This is indeed a Bush Katydid nymph in the genus
Scudderia.  It will continue to grow at it matures.  Adult Bush Katydids are green and winged, and they are also larger than the immature nymphs.

Letter 47 – Immature Bush Katydid


Subject: Skinny lime green insect with long legs and black and white antennae
Location: America, Texas
July 4, 2016 12:55 pm
Heya, I’m Daniel I was doing some photography of a blueberry when i came across this bug in my photo, its quite strange and i couldn’t find any pictures or identification of it, so i checked out your website. if possible define the type if possible (it likes blueberries)
Signature: Daniel

Bush Katydid Nymph
Bush Katydid Nymph

Dear Daniel,
This is an immature Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia.  Though they eat leaves from shrubs and other plants, they do not do any lasting damage to the plant.

Letter 48 – Immature Bush Katydid


Subject: assassin bug
Location: Carroll County, Maryland
July 1, 2017 9:49 am
green assassin bug with striped antennae. Can’t find it, even on the Maryland Biodiversity Project page.
Signature: Mary

Immature Bush Katydid

Dear Mary,
This is NOT an Assassin Bug.  It is a Bush Katydid nymph.

Letter 49 – Immature Bush Katydid


Subject:  What’s this bug??
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California (foothills near Los Angeles)
Date: 09/28/2021
Time: 05:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I’m trying to figure out if this bug is the reason my basil appears to be suffering. I’ve never seen one before! Know what it is? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kristin

Bush Katydid Nymph

Dear Kristin,
This is an immature Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia, and you can verify our identification on BugGuide.  Katydids will eat leaves and flowers, but they do not feed enough to defoliate the plants.  You did not describe the malady affecting your basil.  If it is chewed leaves, you can probably blame the Bush Katydid nymph.  If it is brown spots, wilting or some other malady, look elsewhere for the culprit.

Thank you, Daniel! It is chewed leaves, which is a problem since that’s what I want to chew on basil! Haha. This was very helpful, I appreciate it!
Kristin DuFresne

Letter 50 – Immature, Female Common True Katydid


Subject: Large green seed pod looking bug
Location: Columbus, Ohio
July 19, 2014 9:10 am
Yesterday I saw this guy on my car. I live in Columbus, Ohio. This critter can hold on as it stuck on my car through two freeway drives. It is July here. So far the going theory is that it is a katidid nymph. It was pretty sluggish but that could be because it was only in the 70’s yesterday.
Signature: Lena

Female Common True Katydid nymph
Female Common True Katydid nymph

Dear Lena,
You are correct in your supposition that this is a Katydid nymph.  More specifically, it is a female Common True Katydid nymph, which you can verify by comparing your individual to this image on BugGuide.
  The impressive swordlike ovipositor identifies her as a female.

Letter 51 – Immature Female Drumming Katydid


Subject: Green Cricket in Seattle
Location: West Seattle in Washington State
November 5, 2016 9:26 am
I saw this cricket looking insect the other day on my small fence gate. I’ve lived in this house for almost 30 years and have never seen anything like this in Seattle before. I tried to identify it via the web and it appears that it is a Southern Oak Bush Cricket. The problem is that everything says they are found in Europe or Britain. What could this guy be? Thanks in advance!
Signature: Curious in Seattle

Immature Female Drumming Katydid
Immature Female Drumming Katydid

Dear Curious in Seattle,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are very confident that this is an immature female Drumming Katydid,
Meconema thalassinum.  According to BugGuide:  “Southern New England and British Columbia. See also BugGuide range map for an indication of the expansion of the range into neighboring states.”  This is not a native species, because according to the Singing Insects of North America website:  “This subfamily is represented in the United States by a single species, Meconema thalassinum, introduced from Europe.”  Interestingly, Oak Bush Cricket is another acceptable common name, along with Sea-Green Katydid, for the Drumming Katydid, according to BugGuide.

Thank you so much Daniel. I really appreciate you getting back to me so soon. Thanks for identifying the bug for us. Very interesting.
Curious in Seattle

Letter 52 – Immature Female Rattler Round Winged Katydid


Subject: Looks like the creature from “Alien”
Location: Franklin MA
July 27, 2015 3:27 pm
This amazing bug showed up on our screen house this week. Never seen anything like it. It was about 2″ long. I hope I see it again, but would love to know what it is.
Signature: Chris

Immature female Rattle Round Winged Katydid
Immature female Rattle Round Winged Katydid

Dear Chris,
This is an immature Katydid, and you can tell she is a female by the sickle shaped ovipositor on the tip of her abdomen.  We quickly found a matching image on BugGuide, and we believe your individual is a Rattler Round Winged Katydid,
Amblycorypha rotundifolia.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your quick response. I tried looking myself, but could not find anything. I’m glad the little mystery was solved. I love bugs. I think they’re fascinating (my husband, not so much ha ha).

Letter 53 – Immature Greater Angle-Wing Katydid


Mystery Bug with Tiny Wings!
Tue, May 5, 2009 at 1:27 PM
I’ve been meaning to write this letter for a long time! I have to apologize, because I’m sure this bug is “out of season” (?) right now. We found this little guy climbing on one of our baby willow trees on August 19, 2008. He looks to me like a kind of grasshopper, but I bet you’ll tell me I’m wrong! I was slightly perplexed by his tiny wings in proportion to his large body, which was a little smaller than my thumb (around 1.5-2 inches maybe?). I apologize for not grabbing a ruler or something… I’m kind of embarassed to say I was concentrating on being artistic, haha. If you could give me any insight into who this little guy is, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!
Sincerely, Jess K.
Northeast Ohio

Greater Angle-Wing Katydid
Greater Angle-Wing Katydid

Dear Jess,
This is a Katydid and it is immature as indicated by its still developing wings. We are relatively certain it is a Greater Angle-Wing Katydid, Microcentrum rhombifolium , as evidenced by an image posted to BugGuide. We will be traveling to Youngstown in about a month to visit family.

Wow, I never would have guessed a katydid… but I guess I’ve never really seen one until then, either, haha. Thanks for your help, and best wishes for your safe travels to Ohio!

Letter 54 – Immature Greater Angle-Wing Katydid


Subject: Attack on the Father-In-Law
Location: Adel, Iowa
October 7, 2012 10:01 pm
Greetings, Bugman!
Jeanie Cunningham has sent me your way after she saw a picture I took of an unidentified critter that landed on my father-in-law’s face. It was July in the middle of Iowa, and the man-eater was really more interested in other non-carnivorous meals. Any ideas? Many thanks for trying!!
Signature: David the Ukester

Immature Greater Angle-Wing Katydid

Dear David the Ukester,
We really miss Jeanie since she move away from our Mount Washington neighborhood to Palm Springs.  Your insect is an immature Katydid, most likely a Greater Angle-Wing Katydid,
Microcentrum rhombifolium.  You may compare your individual to this photograph from Bugguide.  Katydids are among the music makers of the insect class.

By jove, I think you’ve got it!!  Thank you so much!  I have always heard of katydids, but never knew what one looked like.  Now I do!  Thanks again, and I’ll let Jeanie know that her suggestion worked.

Letter 55 – Immature Katydid


Link TO your site
Hi Bugman,
I wanted to drop you a line to tell you thanks for the information you provide. I ran across your site while trying to ID some insects, and have been back several times in the last 2 weeks. Keep up the good work! I’ve added a link to your site from mine, and hope you don’t mind. Since I’m part of a large online community, I felt others would enjoy visiting you as much as I do. However, if there’s any problem please advise. Enclosed is a shot of a Katydid nymph I was able to identify because of other photos you have. Just thought I’d send it along, and hope you like it. Thanks again,

Hi Tom,
We are flattered that you would like to link to us. Please warn your readers that we really are swamped and can only answer a fraction of the requests we receive. Thanks for sending the wonderful immature Katydid image.

Letter 56 – Immature Katydid


Hey, i was wondering if you could help me ID this little guy, picture was taken in august of this year on Paynes Prairie in Gaineville, Florida. Thanks!
Brian Sninsky

Hi Brian,
This is an immature Katydid. Sorry, we can’t give an exact species.

Letter 57 – Immature Katydid


Assasain bug?
May 23, 2010
There are several of these on my Lima bean plants. They do not try to escape when approached. I think one was chewing on a new bean pod. On pic is juvenile and one more mature.
Orlando, FL

Immature Katydid

Dear Roamer,
Having Assassin Bugs on your bean plants would be beneficial since they are predators, but your insect is an herbivore, an immature Katydid.  Katydids will eat leaves, and in our garden, they also eat rose petals.  Katydids are generally not numerous enough to present a problem.  Since you do not eat the leaves on the bean plants, and since loss of a few leaves will not negatively impact the yield of your plants, you probably do not need to be concerned.

Letter 58 – Immature Katydid


Subject: Green Insect
Location: San Antonio, Texas
November 10, 2013 9:56 pm
I saw this little bug jumping around at my work in November. It was pretty small but it’s long legs caught my attention. I couldn’t figure out what it was. Let me know what you think.
Thanks a lot.
Signature: Arlyne

Katydid Nymph
Katydid Nymph

Hi Arlyne,
This is an immature male Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, but we are not certain of any further classification.  We believe it is a Shieldbacked Katydid in the subfamily Tettigoniinae, but we are not certain.  We are posting your photo and we will try to get something more substantial from Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide information or a comment.  You can see some possible Shieldbacked Katydids pictured on BugGuide.

Letter 59 – Immature Katydid


Subject: From my bucket garden
Location: Chicago, Illinois
July 27, 2015 8:12 am
Saw this in my bucket garden and I’m just a touch worried is going to eat my herbs and veggies. Any idea what it is? And if it’s dangerous to an urban herb and veggie garden?
Thank you so much!
Signature: Liz

Possibly Round Headed Katydid Nymph
Possibly Round Headed Katydid Nymph

Dear Liz,
This is an immature male Katydid, probably a Round Headed Katydid in the genus
Amblycorypha based on images posted to BugGuide.  Though Katydids do munch on leaves, we allow them to feed in our own garden because we like the sounds they provide.  They are solitary feeders, and in our opinion, they do not eat enough to cause any damage to the plants.

Possibly Round Headed Katydid Nymph
Possibly Round Headed Katydid Nymph

Letter 60 – Immature Katydid found in Mount Washington


Subject:  What’s That Katydid?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
May 7, 2016
While working in the garden we spotted this immature Katydid eating the leaves of a Primrose, and we were uncertain of its identity.  We believe it is a Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia, possibly a Mexican Bush Katydid which is pictured on the Natural History of Orange County website.  Since it lacks an ovipositor, this
Scudderia nymph is definitely a male, and it looks very similar to this BugGuide image.

Immature Bush Katydid
Immature Bush Katydid

Letter 61 – Immature Katydid from Thailand


small cricket of n.e. thailand sometimes seen in numbers
March 10, 2010
this attractive cricket is often found on leaves , i dont ever recall finding one on the ground.
gary heiden, chiang khan, thailand
loei prov. thailand. about 5km from mekong river.

Unknown Katydid Nymph

Hi Gary,
This is not a cricket, but rather an immature Katydid.  Crickets and Katydids are both in the same insect order, Orthoptera, which also includes grasshoppers.  Immature Orthopterans are known as nymphs, and they often differ physically from adults in terms of markings and coloration, which can make them difficult to identify.  We will contact Piotr Naskrecki, an expert in Katydids, to see if he recognizes the species or genus.

Piotr Naskrecki Responds
Hi Daniel,
The katydid from Thailand is a nymph of Phaneropterinae, but impossible to
tell the genus. Nymphs in this group of katydids are often dramatically
different from the adults.

Letter 62 – Immature Male Common True Katydid


Subject:  unidentified green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date: 07/05/2018
Time: 09:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just like to know what this is. Have never seen anything like it.
How you want your letter signed:  Brad Pahmier

Immature Male Common True Katydid

Dear Brad,
We apologize for our delay.  Your identification request was on the back burner so long it fell off the stove, but we went back through our unanswered mail and relocated it.  This is an immature male Katydid, and when we searched for images of immature Katydids from Indiana, we found our own posting from Ohio of a female immature Common True Katydid,
Pterophylla camellifolia.  This BugGuide image of an immature male Common True Katydid looks exactly like your individual.

Letter 63 – Immature Male Drumming Katydid


Subject: green bug
Location: tacoma wa
July 30, 2016 7:25 am
my kids found this bug on our car. I never seen anything like it before. would like to know what it is a where it comes from.
it was found in Tacoma, WA.
Signature: uncle4x4

Immature Male Drumming Katydid
Immature Male Drumming Katydid

Dear uncle4x4,
The Drumming Katydid,
Meconema thalassinum, is a native insect in eastern North America, but it has been introduced into your part of the country.  The individual in your image is an immature male Drumming Katydid, which you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  Adults, like the one in this BugGuide image, have wings and females have an ovipositor.

Letter 64 – Immature Male Katydid


Subject: Strange Bug
Location: East Windsor, NJ
July 15, 2016 12:28 pm
My daughter and I were looking around the garden and we found this strange bug. I was thinking it was a type of grasshopper, but I’m not sure.
Signature: Thanks, Robb & Paige

Immature Male Katydid
Immature Male Katydid

Dear Robb & Paige,
This is an immature male Katydid, and the best way to distinguish Katydids from Grasshoppers is that Katydids have much longer antennae.  Your nymph looks exactly like this image from our archives that we tentatively identified as a Round Headed Katydid in the genus

Letter 65 – Immature Male Katydid


Subject:  Name the bug, please
Geographic location of the bug:  Marblehead, MA USA
Date: 07/13/2018
Time: 09:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help identify this immature insect. It has been camped out on my wife’s rosebush for the past several days. Our guess is katydid or cricket, but it has no wings (yet).
How you want your letter signed:  Wayne and Susan

Immature Male Katydid

Dear Wayne and Susan,
This is indeed an immature Katydid and it is a male that is lacking an ovipositor.  We believe it looks like this BugGuide image of a member of the subfamily Phaneropterinae.

Immature Male Katydid

Letter 66 – Immature Meadow Katydid from Canada


Subject:  Katydid or something else?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pelham, Ontario
Date: 11/19/2017
Time: 06:44 AM EDT
Hi there,
I photographed what I think is an immature katydid, although I’m not sure if it might be something else. It was very small and transparent – you can see what I believe is its digestive system or something else right through the exoskeleton. I just lucked out with the lighting. Anyway would love to know if you can verify, and I also thought you might like this photo.
How you want your letter signed:  Brad

Immature Meadow Katydid

Dear Brad,
Considering your location, it is very late in the season to get an image of an immature Katydid.  We believe this is an immature Meadow Katydid like the one pictured on BugGuide.

Hi Daniel,
I’m sorry, I should have stated that the picture was taken a few months ago! I was going through my pictures and wanted to choose another cover photo for my Facebook profile and it struck me that I loved that picture and wasn’t exactly sure what it was.
Thank you for the identification!  I love your work.
Have a great week 🙂

Letter 67 – Immature Scudder's Bush Katydid


Subject: New bug in Dorothy’s garden
Location: Redding, California
May 27, 2012 9:05 pm
I take a lot of pictures of the flowers around the Treehouse Senior apartments, where I live. Particularly of the many different flowers that appear year round in my neighbor Dorothy’s garden.
This year, a new bug has been starring in photographs of iris and day lilies.
It is only about a quarter inch in length. It is green with iridescent golden markings. I think I have 3 good images.
Signature: Phil Seymour

Scudder's Bush Katydid Nymph

Hi Phil,
This is an immature Scudder’s Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia, and members of the genus are found throughout North America.  You can compare your photo to this image from BugGuide.  This species is quite common in the garden outside our Mt Washington, Los Angeles offices.  Katydids feed on leaves and blossoms and the Scudder’s Bush Katydids seem quite fond of the blossoms on the rose bushes in our garden.  They are never plentiful enough to do any major damage, and we are content to allow them to feed and grow.  Just last week we photographed another Katydid nymph in our garden, and we believe it is a Broad Winged Katydid.

Letter 68 – Immature Scudder's Bush Katydid


Subject: Stripy Pants
Location: Los Angeles
January 5, 2013 3:42 am
Spotted this guy buggin’ on my orange tree. He was hopping and seemed to know I was checking him out! Spent a lot of time online, but didn’t come close to an identification. What’s that bug?
Signature: Ianavic

Immature Bush Katydid

Dear Ianavic,
This is an immature Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia.  Adult Bush Katydids are much larger  and they resemble green grasshoppers with very long antennae, but because of their coloration, they are well camouflaged against foliage and they are frequently overlooked.  This nymph appears to be very young.

Thank you so much for your generous and timely response, you’re the (bug)man!
I am more than happy to have this little fella nibble on our tree as per your wishes. I wonder just how many insects you’ve saved from a squishy demise over the years?
Keep up the good work!

Letter 69 – Jumping Bush Cricket


Subject: Any idea what this is?
Location: pennslvania
September 15, 2015 5:12 am
saw this guy crawling across my grill today. Any idea what it is?
Signature: jim

Jumping Bush Cricket
Jumping Bush Cricket

Dear Jim,
We believe we have correctly identified your Cricket as a male Jumping Bush Cricket,
Orocharis saltator, thanks to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, its habitat is:  “Broadleaved trees; occasionally in herbaceous undergrowth, shrubs, and pine trees. Often heard calling from trees and shrubs in urban areas.”

Letter 70 – Katydid


I live in SW Michigan and I know I’ve seen bugs like this before, just never as big. This one landed on my head while raking leaves last weekend. The photo is of the bug on the handle of my pruning shears. It moved quite fast on those long legs, once I put him on my garden bricks. Because of his leafy appendages, I was afraid I would step on him for sure. But I didn’t. Thanks for any ID help you can provide.

Hi Cheryl,
This is a True Katydid, Pterophylla camellifolia. Eric Eaton has this to add: “I’m probably too picky, but the true katydid posted 11/09 is actually a MALE. Males of some katydids have elaborate subgenital plates that resemble a female’s ovipositor, so it is really easy to make that mistake. The stridulatory area on the front wings (the brown triangle at the top of the insect in the nice photo) confirms that it is a male. Females do not have modifications of the front wings. Just keepin’ you on your toes. Eric”

Letter 71 – Katydid


Katydid pics
Hiya Bug People,
I ran across your site while searching the web for info on spiders…see I found a spider in my hair while watching TV.. (and any spider that interrupted my TV time was definitely Poisonous and EVIL!!) But I have now come to the conclusion it wasn’t a brown recluse and am feeling much better. But I saw that you had several pics of Katydids and the letters are usually from people that think they are "icky" So I wanted to share these photos of the Katydid my family really really enjoyed getting to meet last summer. I don’t know how anyone could be afraid of them or think they are "icky" This Katydid was so easy going and let us hold him and sat on our shoulders for the whole afternoon. I was scared to let him go back in the tree where we found him cause we have a HUGE Yellow Garden spider near the same tree.. and I didn’t want to have to explain why Nice Mr. Spider was eating our friend "Katy"!! Can you say Therapy!!
LOL anyways I hope you enjoy the photos.
Happy Spring,
Kelly Salzman
North Carolina

Hi Kelly,
Thank you for the sweet letter. We love your photo.

Letter 72 – Katydid


4 bug pix, ID for spider?
Sent some of these earlier, but got an error message so I’m trying again. First one is a caterpillar found on my passion flower vine, second one is a katydid in the basil. third is a spider (orb weaver?), the last is my favorite spider picture, great green and brown coloring. Can you ID the last one? Thanks! Love your site, found it when I was trying to ID a scary
bug which turned out to be a Jerusalem cricket.
Donna B.
San Diego

Hi Donna,
Thanks for the Katydid photo.

Letter 73 – Katydid


Big Green Bug?
We’ve just seen an unusual bug clinging for dear life on the side of my front steps. It is large, with a yellowish green body and legs (six of them), two long antennae, raised back and a flat head and about 2" long and 1" wide. Can you tell me what this might be? It didn’t move while we were looking at it or taking pictures of it. Thank you.

Dear DJ,
Where are the photos and where do you live? Without additional information, it could be many things. Katydids resemble green grasshoppers, and do have long antennae. Please send photos if you have them. I appologize for the delay in replying, but our website is down because of heavy traffic.

I just sent the photos in a separate e-mail. I live in North Carolina.

Hi DJ,
Thanks for the photos. Even though they are out of focus, I can see you have a male Katydid. The female has a long ovipositor for depositing her eggs on branches. Exact species is indeterminable in your photo, but it appears to be the True Katydid, Pterophylla camellifolia. The male is musical, producing sounds by rubbing the wing covers, which have rasps and ridges, together like a fiddle and bow. Those night sounds are used to attract a mate. They are sometimes attracted to lights at night.

Letter 74 – Katydid


Hey there Bug Man,
Heard about your website from a friend that sent you a few photos. We enjoy looking at all the varieties of bugs. Our 3 year old likes the site as well. We are sending you a photo that we took of a bug we found in our back yard. Not quite sure what it is but we thought it was neat.
Smith Family
Gilbert, Arizona

Hi Smiths,
This is a Katydid, probably the California Katydid, Microcentrum californicum, which is found in California and Arizona. or another species in the same genus like Microcentrum rhombifolium.

Letter 75 – Katydid


Subject: Pretty katydid-really good pic.
Location: Seymour, Tennessee (just south of Knoxville)
July 10, 2012 10:49 pm
Hey bugman, this pretty katydid, which I know is female because of the ovipositor, landed on top of a dresser of my brothers that was sitting outside our garage (we were helping him and his wife move), and I moved her to some colorful leaves behind our house and took this picture. I would love to know which of the several species that look similar it is. I have tried to upload it to bugguide but I have cropped it as much as I can without cutting of part of the katydid and it is still apparently too big of a file. Anyway I hope you enjoy the photo and can possibly help with a species ID. thanks in advance!
Signature: Michael


Hi Michael,
Rather than to give you the wrong species, we are just going to post your photograph and then write to Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki.  We can compliment you on the quality of your photograph.  BugGuide needs images to conform to web restrictions because readers post the photos.  Here at What’s That Bug?, our highly skilled art department is very PhotoShop savvy and we have no problem conforming images as well as color correcting, density correcting and sharpening the images, then cropping them to the proper ratio.  Check back on the site to see if we got a proper identification.  Your photo is quite stunning, though we don’t believe this Katydid would perch on that coleus leaf, though in our garden, the Skudder’s Bush Katydids love to eat red roses.

Thank you so much for posting my photo. About the leaf she was on, I moved her there to get a better background for the photo.

Letter 76 – Katydid


Subject: Strange green bug…
Location: Spring Valley, Wisconsin 54767
August 11, 2012 2:42 pm
I found this bug by ear, rather than by eye, on my window screen. He made this strange clicking noise that could be heard up the stairs and down the hallway in my house (I named him ”Clicker”) . The rate of the clicking would change (with no apparent patter) and would occasionally stop. He was a very vivid green color and could hop, almost resembling a grass hopper in that manner.
Signature: My new best friend is a bug…


You new best friend is a Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae.  Your comparison of this Katydid to a Grasshopper is relevant since both are classified in the insect order Orthoptera. 

Letter 77 – Katydid


Subject: Leaf-Like Grasshopper?
Location: Yucca Valley, CA 92284
August 18, 2014 11:06 am
Hi B-Man, I just moved to Southern California In April and am originally from Alaska. There are SO many Interesting, Neat-Looking, and just plain BIG Freaking Bugs down here, that I have NEVER seen let alone had the chance to experience living up North. I found this Bug on My Father-In-Law’s GMC Truck. I immidiatley was intrigued. He (or she) looks sort of like a Grasshopper, other than the fact it looks like a perfect leaf. He acts like a grasshopper cuz he hops…But he can fly too. What’s weird is that his head/face looks kind of like a Praying Mantis Head? I know he’s not a P.M. But, his head and eyes sort of remind me of one. Hope you know what this gorgeous guy is, so I can finally end the Questions regarding what it is with my Stubborn Fiance…LoL 😉
Please and Thank You in Advance!!!
Signature: Haley Nadine~

California Angle-Winged Katydid
California Angle-Winged Katydid

Hi Haley,
This Katydid is in the same insect order as a Grasshopper, Orthoptera, which explains its resemblance to a Grasshopper.  We believe this is a California Angle-Winged Katydid,
Microcentrum californicum, based on the similarities to this image from BugGuide.

Letter 78 – Katydid


Subject:  Grasshopper?
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland, OR
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 05:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I took this photo of this beautiful insect and I wanted to know what exactly it is? My guess is a grasshopper.
Thank you!!
How you want your letter signed:  Jenn


Hi Jenn,
The quick answer is that this is a Katydid, and Katydids and Grasshoppers are in the same insect order Orthoptera.  The most obvious difference between Katydids and Grasshoppers is that Katydids have much longer antennae.  We are having difficulty determining the genus and species.  Your individual looks very similar to this image on Pacific Northwest Photography Forum, but it is only identified as a Katydid.  This might be a Bush Katydid in the genus
Scudderia which is profiled on BugGuide.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide a more definitive identification.

Letter 79 – Katydid


Subject:  Katydid?
Geographic location of the bug:  Denver, Colorado
Date: 09/24/2021
Time: 12:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw a leaf bug on my porch yesterday, and I forgot to take a picture, so I’ve been scouring the Internet for something similar. This picture I purchased from Shutterstock (photo by hagit berkovich) is the only one I could find of a katydid with the same kind of face/eyes. I can’t find any information on it either, so I’m wondering if it’s even a katydid at all!
How you want your letter signed:  ellie n.

leaf katydid (from shutterstock)

Dear Ellie,
We will not be able to identify your particular Katydid from the attached image which is surely not a North American species.  The True Katydid pictured on BugGuide looks similar, but BugGuide does not report it from Colorado.

Thank you for your reply!
I really wish I’d gotten a photo of it. If I see it again, I will resubmit!

Letter 80 – Immature Katydid from Belize


Subject: sci-fi grasshopper
Location: Toledo District, Belize
September 7, 2014 3:46 pm
Hello, folks,
I saw this grasshopper while I was pruning cacao recently. I’ve pruned a lot of cacao, but this was a first. Any idea what this is?
Sure hope my server cooperates and sends along a couple photos. I’ve got more if you’re interested.
Thanks a lot,
Signature: Tanya

Immature Male Katydid from Belize
Immature Katydid from Belize

Dear Tanya,
This is an immature male Katydid, not a Grasshopper.  The antennae
of a Grasshopper are considerably shorter and thicker than the antennae on Ensiferans, including Katydids, Long Horned Orthopterans with which they share the order.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki who frequently provides Katydid identifications down to the genus and species level.  We can tell you your individual is immature as evidenced by the short wing pads, and that your individual is a male as evidenced by his lack of an ovipositor.

Immature Male Katydid from Belize
Immature Katydid from Belize

Wow, Daniel,  what a fast and useful response.  Many,many thanks.  I’m going to check my other photos of this katydid because I think there may have been an ovipositor or something that looked like one to my untrained eyes.
You and your dedicated staff are the best.  I’ve been busy reading the Nests section.

Subject: Is that an ovipositor on the katydid
Location: Toledo District, Belize
September 7, 2014 6:25 pm
Is that stubby bit too short to be an ovipositor? If so, what is it?
Many thanks.
Signature: Tanya

Immature Katydid from Belize
Immature Katydid from Belize

Hi again Tanya,
From this angle, that does appear to be an ovipositor, so we are retracting our previous statement.  This is an immature female Katydid.

You’re great, Daniel and crew.  Thanks so much for making bugs so compelling to so many of us.

Letter 81 – Greater Meadow Katydid


Is this a grasshopper?
September 14, 2009
This bug has been hanging out with me for a while now. First it was on my front porch hanging out on the hibiscus and just the other day it was in my room. I put it outside many times and it always comes back. Now I just let it hang out in my room and it just stays sitting in the same spots.
Virginia Beach, VA

Greater Meadow Katydid
Greater Meadow Katydid

Hi Malia,
Grasshoppers have much shorter antennae than this Greater Meadow Katydid does.  We believe the species is Orchelimum minor, based on images posted to BugGuide.  The red eyes and green face are quite distinctive.  Your individual is a female as evidenced by her sword-like ovipositor, and she is missing one leg, which may have happened because of a run-in with a predator.

Letter 82 – Greater Arid-Land Katydid


What is it????
Found this one in the front yard, I’m assuming some sort of Katydid. I’m not sure though. Any help you could give in ID would be great
Allen Meeks
Spicewood, TX

Hi Allen,
This is one of the Shield-Backed Katydids, Neobarrettia spinosa female.

Ed. Note: (11/17/2005) Late Breaking Etomological Update
Greater Arid-land Katydid
Hey Bugman
I think you have a Common name mix up on your katydid page, the latin name is correct. The katydid that you guys called a Shield back Katydid’s common name is actually Greater Arid-Land Katydid, that belongs in the sub-family Listroscelinae (Predaceous Katydids). They are only two species of the genus Neobattettia in the US. The Greater Arid-land Katydid has a black outline on the pronotum, the Lesser Arid-Land Katydid’s pronotum is green.

Letter 83 – Forktailed Bush Katydid


katydid with leaf-like wings
January 31, 2010
The photo of the dead leaf mimic got me thinking about the katydid I found in my backyard in northwestern New Jersey last August. Its wings have that amazing vein-pattern of leaves. One can see how, with just a little nip and tuck from natural selection, the dead leaf mimics evolve. Thank you for your wonderful work.
newton, new jersey

Forktailed Bush Katydid

Hi Jeannie,
Thank you for your kind letter, and also providing such a detailed image of a Bush Katydid in the genus Scudderia.  We believe this is a female Scudderia fasciata, the Treetop Bush Katydid, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We will see if Piotr Naskrecki is able to provide a confirmation of that identification.

Correction thanks to Piotr Naskrecki
HI Daniel,
I think that this is Scudderia furcata, rather than S. fasciata (which usually has more black coloring on its wings.)

Letter 84 – Immature Katydid from Belize is Dried Leaf Mimic


Subject: Coolest Bug we’ve Ever Seen! (Belize)
Location: Belize
January 26, 2015 8:35 pm
We found this beauty on a leaf in the subtropical forest in late March in Belize in 2014. Forest was about a half hour drive SE of Belmopan.
We’d love to know what this insect (assuming it’s an insect) is and learn more about it!
Signature: Julia, Emily and Kai

Unknown Dried Leaf Mimic Bug
Unknown Dried Leaf Mimic Bug

Dear Julia, Emily and Kai,
Have you any additional images of this amazing dried leaf mimic bug?  They might help in identification, and higher resolution images are fine to submit.  It is very difficult to make out the morphology of this individual from this camera angle.  It appears that legs are held together and antennae are held together.  We cannot even decide how to classify it, but we suspect it is either a Free Living Hemipteran or a species of Katydid.  We are posting it as unidentified and as we are rushed this morning and haven’t the time to research it right now, perhaps one of our readers will have some clue.  We are also going to try to contact Piotr Naskrecki to get some assistance.

Piotr Naskrecki identifies Katydid Nymph
Hi Daniel,
This is a young nymph of Mimetica sp. (Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae) in the characteristic position they assume during the day.

Thanks so much Piotr.  A nymph.  So what looks like wings is some other feature?

Nymphs of Mimetica and several related genera have large, leaf-like lobes on the 1-3 dorsal terga (see attached photo). These disappear in adult insects.

Letter 85 – Immature Katydid from South Africa


Subject:  Cricket identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Piet Retief, Mpumalanga,  South Africa
Date: 01/08/2018
Time: 08:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this insect on the grass under a large paperback acacia thorn tree. It is almost the same colour of the lichen on the tree ( see photograph). I thought it was a grasshopper but now think it is a cricket. It is small (2cm).
How you want your letter signed:  Lynn Volker

Lichen Mimicking Katydid

Dear Lynn,
Even though immature Katydids can often visually differ greatly from adult Katydids, and given that there are more images of identified adult Katydids on the World Wide Web than there are of frequently undocumented immature stages, and we acknowledge that though they share some visual similarities including looking like lichens, we do not believe your (probably) immature Katydid nymph to be the same species as this South African individual pictured on Photographs from South Africa.  We are going to attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he recognizes your comely specimen.

Piotr Naskrecki provides an identification.
Hi Daniel,
This is a nymph of Eurycorypha sp. (possibly E. varia).
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Ed. Note:  We located images attributed to the genus Eurycorypha on Africa Wild, but the adult looks nothing like this gorgeous nymph.

Letter 86 – Giant Katydid Hatchlings and Fall Webworm Damage


I’ve seen these brown leaves on Sideroxylon salicifolium and wonder what could be causing it.
October 1, 2009
Hello dear bug people. I keep seeing webbing and dead leaf clusters on Willow Bustic and wonder if the attached bugs/larvae that I saw today are the cause.

Brown Leaves:  Insect Damage???
Fall Webworm Leaf Damage

Would you know what they are by these not so great pictures?
Thank you so much, Susan
North Key Largo, Florida

Unknown Web Spinning Insect
Giant Katydid Hatchlings

Dear Susan,
WE are really puzzled by these hatching insects, but the webbing they are constructing does appear to be on the brown clusters of leaves.  We are calling in the big guns and are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton.

Unknown Web Spinning Insect
Giant Katydids hatching in Webworm Nest

Update from Eric Eaton
October 3, 2009
I’m at a friend’s computer right now, but my quick answer is that those are most likely katydid nymphs hatching from eggs.  Probably giant katydids (Stilpnochlora couloniana).  They would not be the cause of the leaf damage, and certainly not the cause of the webbing, which may be a product of the Fall Webworm or a related caterpillar.
Hope this helps.

Letter 87 – Immature Katydid from Peru


Some kind of Orthopteran?
Location: Southeastern Peru, Manu Area
February 28, 2011 4:03 am
I stumbled across this while hiking through foothill forest of Southeastern Peru in Manu National Park around 900 – 1000m elevation. The insect almost perfectly camouflaged itself by fitting its body into a lengthwise cavity in a hollow twig while holding its antennae and legs outstretched and parallell with the twig. It’s body fit almost perfectly.
Signature: Rich

Unknown Orthopteran

Hi Rich,
We agree that this is an Orthopteran.  We will try to contact Piotr Naskrecki, an expert in Katydids, to see if he can identify this unusual creature.

Piotr Naskrecki provides tribe identification
Hi Daniel,
This is a nymph of a katydid of the tribe Pleminiini (Pseudophyllinae), but it is too young for me to be able to tell the genus.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you! I saw Piotr’s response on the website. This is very interesting. Sorry, I have a couple more questions: I was curious as to whether the insect makes the cavity itself or finds existing ones. Is hiding like this typical of nymphs the tribe Pleminiini? Also, what do adults look like? Are they typical green katydids?
Thanks a lot!

Hi Rich,
This response is mostly speculation.  We doubt that the nymph excavates the cavity.  Most Katydids practice some form of camouflage mimicry.  We are unable to locate any images of individuals in the tribe Pleminiini.


  • Bugman

    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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Tags: Katydid

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