Shield-Backed Katydid

Subject: Green with Red Abdomen grasshopper?
Location: Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains (Alpine County)
September 25, 2016 3:18 pm
Hi Mr. Bugman,
I found this grasshopper-like insect in my house in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains this weekend and can’t identify it. The night before I found it, it was making such a loud noise (like a high-pitched humming) that I unplugged the refrigerator to see if it was the refrigerator on the blink that was making the noise!
Can you help me track down what this little critter is? I caught him in a glass (I was kind of skittish to catch him by hand, that looks like a stinger on his hind end!) and released him outside.
Signature: Nona Y.

Shield-Backed Katydid
Shield-Backed Katydid

Dear Nona,
This is not a Grasshopper.  Grasshoppers have much shorter antennae.  This is a Katydid, and we believe we have correctly identified it as a Shield-Backed Katydid from the genus
Idiostatus based on this BugGuide image.  There is another image on the University of Florida Entomology page that is identified as the Unarmed Shieldback, Idiostatus inermis, that looks very similar.  What you have mistaken for a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female and it poses no threat to humans, but large Shield-Backed Katydids might bite.

Hello, Daniel,
Thank you so much for your quick reply to my query! So it is a Katydid! I’ve never seen one there before. But I appreciate your help!

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