Subject: Egg or Parasite?
Geographic location of the bug: Andover, New Jersey
Time: 06:24 PM EDT
Location: Hi Daniel,
Hope you don’t mind a direct email? I was out in my garden this morning and spotted two adult katydids on some sunflowers. The female had what I initially took to be eggs on her abdomen; but now I wonder if this may be some sort of parasite? The images I found of katydid eggs looked much flatter than whatever she’s got. Am enclosing several shots, including one showing both male and female. Any wisdom much appreciated!
Receiving submissions using our standard form is always preferable because it makes posting submissions to our site much easier, but we never ignore direct emails if there is interesting content we wish to post, like this submission. What we do not like are direct email submissions with ten different identification requests combined with no information relative to any particular image. Submissions like that generally go directly into the trash. These are Bush Katydids in the genus Scudderia, probably the Northern Bush Katydid, Scudderia septentrionalis which is pictured on BugGuide. Though the shallow depth of field resulted in the background individual being rendered out of focus, we believe the ovipositor is visible, indicating both Katydids are female. Here is a BugGuide image of a male Northern Bush Katydid. We do not believe the phenomenon you documented is related to parasitism. What you have documented might be eggs, but we are not certain. We have some images of a Bush Katydid laying eggs in our archives, but there is a pronounced lack of detail visible. The Smaller Majority site has some wonderful images of a female Bush Katydid laying eggs. Here is a BugGuide image of the eggs. Insects sometimes expel fluids shortly after metamorphosis, and that is another possibility. We apologize for not providing you with a conclusive response.