Subject: Mexican bug!
Location: Yucatán, Mexico
August 28, 2012 2:38 pm
Hello, I was wondering if you could identify this insect my friends found in their hotel while on honeymoon in Yucatán, Mexico. They said the stinger visible on its end was about an inch long so I suppose it was 4-5 inches in total. Any light shed on its identity would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Signature: Jo

Shieldback Katydid

Dear Jo,
This poor creature is a Shieldback Katydid, and for some reason, she has lost most of her long antennae, sensory organs that characterize her suborder, Ensifera, the Longhorned Orthopterans.  What your friend has mistaken for a stinger is actually an ovipositor, an organ associated with egg laying.  We will see if we can get assistance from Piotr Naskrecki, a Katydid expert, with regards to her species.

Location: Mexico

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