Katydid nymph from Italy

Subject: Bug in the Veneto
Location: Lozzo Atestino (PD), Italy
June 16, 2013 10:55 am
My friend who lives in Lozzo Atestino (PD), Italy, has several of these gorgeous cricket-looking thingies at his house in the Colli Euganei. He is trying to learn what they are and what they might eat (one hopes not grape vines nor olive trees). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Signature: Anna

Katydid nymph
Katydid nymph

Dear Anna,
This is a Katydid, a group of insects classified with crickets in the suborder Ensifera.  We did a superficial search and could not come up with any matching images of this colorful specimen.  We will try to contact Piotr Naskrecki, a Katydid expert, to see if he can identify the species, however, we suspect he is out of the office on a collecting trip as he did not respond to our last few identification requests.

Piotr Naskrecki responds
Hi Daniel,
This is a male of Barbitistes sp. (Phaneropterinae). They are quite polymorphic and range from light green to nearly black in their coloration. Hard to say which species without being able to see the cerci, though.

After the email from Piotr Naskrecki I found this link (http://www.unipd.it/esterni/wwwfitfo/barbitistes.htm) showing the species “Barbitistes vicetinus”, which appears to be common exactly in Veneto. See also a picture here: http://www.unipd.it/esterni/wwwfitfo/immagini/Barbitistes%20Forma%20tipica%20maschio.jpg. Maybe you could send the first link to Anna. The page describes what they eat, which is what Anna wanted to know.

Thanks Saverio

No problem. I am a lawyer and I know nothing about bugs, which scare the hell out of me. For the same reason, I am fascinated by any kind of bug/spider. So, in case you need help for Italian-related questions, let me know: while I am no entomologist, I love to investigate …

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