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.
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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.”