Unknown Cricket from Australia

Scary Hissing Bug!
We this bug land in our swimming pool on the weekend. We weren’t able to get many good photo’s but these few have the most coverage. My partner picked it up to remove it from the pool and just before putting it down in the garden, it tried to take a chunk out of him….! Can you please help us find out what type of flying bug this is, I’ve looked on a couple of websites but can not find any pictures of it. 2 of us think it may be some kind of locust…?? It was outside in the pot plant then by the end of the night it was in the laundry, although I’m unable to locate it at the moment I’m sure he will come out of somewhere when I’m not suspecting it..! It would be greatly appreciated if you could help. Cheers,
Elle & Mark

Hi Elle and Mark,
For now, all we can tell you is that this is an Orthopteran, the order that includes grasshoppers, katydids and crickets. It is a female, as evidenced by the large spikelike ovipositor. Now comes the big question. Where are you located??????? There is a family, Anostostomatidae, of primitive insects found in New Zealand known as Weta, and there are some similarities. The hissing and aggressive posture are indicative of Weta, but Weta are wingless. This is probably some species of Long Horned Grasshopper or Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae. The last time we tried to email Eric Eaton, the communique did not go through. We will see if he has an opinion here. Here is what Eric thinks: “That is a female katydid of some kind, probably neotropical, and probably predacious, as are many katydids with strong jaws and heavy spines on the front legs.”

Thank you so much for replying so soon. We are in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve never seen this type of bug/insect before, but he was huge..! Where do these things usually reside? as they are so big we thought we would have seen it before. He kept making a hissing sound that was loud enough to hear from about 4 foot away..! Feisty little fellow..!!! Thanking you in advance.
Elle & Mark

Hi again Elle and Mark,
Thanks for the location. Eric Eaton says a Predaceous female Katydid but does not know the species. A quick web search did not give us a conclusive answer.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
I have been looking at the page with unidentified katydids (Katydids 2), and thought I could help with some ID’s. From top to bottom they are: Australian “katydid” – not a katydid but Gryllacrididae, unknown species

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