Katydids are fascinating insects that are related to grasshoppers and crickets, with over 6,400 species documented worldwide. Known for their long and slender shape, these intriguing creatures are often called long-horned grasshoppers, even though they’re more closely related to crickets. As you dive into the world of katydids and their diet, you’ll discover that they have diverse eating habits.
These fascinating insects adopt a range of eating habits, from plant-based to carnivorous, depending on the specific species. Some katydids primarily consume leaves, flowers, and stems, making them mostly herbivorous. However, other species are omnivorous or even carnivorous, feasting on other insects and small invertebrates.
Understanding the dietary preferences of katydids provides insight into their behavior and ecological significance. While their eating habits vary by species, one thing that’s clear is that these incredible creatures play a vital role in their ecosystems, contributing to the balance of natural life. As you continue exploring the diet of katydids, you’ll develop a newfound appreciation for these unique insects.
What Are Katydids
Katydids are fascinating insects belonging to the family Tettigoniidae and order Orthoptera. They share some similarities with long-horned grasshoppers and crickets. These creatures are characterized by their green color, making them blend seamlessly with leaves and vegetation.
You’ll notice that katydids have long antennae, often longer than their bodies, and long legs perfect for jumping. Their wings are divided into front and hind wings, closely resembling leaves in texture and appearance. Let’s dive deeper into some of their features:
- Size: Katydids vary in size, but typically measure between 1 and 2 inches in length.
- Nymphs: Young katydids go through a process called metamorphosis, in which they molt and grow into adults.
- Males & Females: Male and female katydids can be distinguished by their distinct body parts and behaviors, with males producing sounds to attract females.
Katydids are informally called bush crickets, and one of the subfamilies is Phaneropterinae. These insects play a vital role in the ecosystem, serving as both a food source for various predators and helping maintain plant life through their feeding habits.
Katydids can be found in a variety of habitats around the world. They are most commonly seen in the tropics, but can also be found in other areas with a range of temperatures.
For example, some katydids reside in the Amazon rainforest, where the climate is humid and warm. The lush vegetation provides an ideal environment for these creatures, as they can easily blend in with the greenery due to their leaf-like appearance.
However, not all katydids are restricted to tropical regions. Some species can adapt to living in environments like deserts, where temperatures can be extreme and the vegetation is sparse.
In more temperate areas, you may find katydids living in citrus or eucalyptus trees. These trees provide both shelter and a food source for the insects. In addition, bushes and other plants such as bramble and hazel can make suitable homes for these creatures.
- Some common habitats for katydids include:
- Tropical rainforests
- Citrus and eucalyptus trees
- Bushes, brambles, and hazel plants
Regardless of their location, katydids are known to be quite adaptable and can thrive in a variety of different ecosystems. So, if you come across these fascinating insects in your garden or on your next nature walk, remember that they can be found in diverse habitats all around the world.
Katydids are fascinating insects with unique features and behaviors. Let’s explore their lifestyle to understand more about these creatures.
First and foremost, you may find it interesting that katydids are primarily nocturnal creatures. This means that they are most active during the night and prefer to rest during the day. They rely on their long, thin antennae covered with sensory receptors to help them navigate their surroundings in the dark.
Camouflage is another intriguing aspect of a katydid’s lifestyle. Their bodies are usually bright green, resembling leaves, which helps them blend in with the foliage. This green coloration makes it harder for predators to spot them, providing a clever way to stay safe.
If you consider getting a pet katydid, remember, they have particular needs. You should keep the following points in mind:
- Provide plenty of foliage to mimic their natural habitat.
- Maintain a suitable temperature and humidity level.
- Feed them according to their dietary preferences, which consist of leaves and stems.
One significant aspect to consider when keeping pet katydids is the change in generations. A typical katydid has a lifespan of about a year. At the end of summer, females usually lay their eggs, and a new generation begins.
When planning to keep a pet katydid, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with their various aspects, paying special attention to their nocturnal nature, camouflage, and generational changes. As an owner, understanding these characteristics of katydids will ensure a healthy and happy life for your pet. Just remember to enjoy your time learning and observing these amazing insects!
Katydids primarily feed on plant matter, making them an important part of the ecosystem. Here’s a quick overview of their diet:
- Leaves: They love to munch on leaves, consuming various types of plants to satisfy their hunger.
- Stems: Katydids can also consume stems, obtaining necessary nutrients.
These insects are quite versatile in their food choices. Some examples of the diverse plants they eat include lilies, citrus, butterfly bushes, and grasses. Katydids can be particularly fond of fruit, such as grapes, apples, pears, and plums. Their feeding habits may vary based on their specific species and habitat.
Katydids may occasionally shift towards an omnivorous diet. This can occur when plant resources become scarce. In such cases, they may consume small insects such as aphids and grasshoppers. Sometimes, they will even eat dead insects to supplement their plant-based diet.
While most katydids lean towards a herbivorous lifestyle, it is essential to understand that they can adapt and become opportunistic omnivores when needed. So, keep in mind that these fascinating creatures are capable of a wide range of feeding habits that help them thrive in their environment.
When it comes to katydid reproduction, the process starts with the males producing a mating call to attract females. This unique sound is created by the males rubbing their wings together. Once a female is drawn to the call, the male and female will mate. After mating, the female uses her ovipositor to lay eggs.
Katydids typically lay eggs at the end of summer. The eggs are often placed in hidden spots, like the underside of leaves, to decrease the chances of predation. The life cycle of a katydid is around one year, with the insects growing from nymphs to adults during this time.
As a nymph, a katydid will molt several times to reach its full adult size. Throughout the various stages of its life cycle, a katydid’s food preferences may change. For instance, young katydids might prefer softer plant material, while mature adults are more likely to consume tougher foliage.
Some key features of katydids’ reproduction include:
- Males producing a mating call to attract females
- Mating between male and female katydids
- Females laying eggs using ovipositor
- Eggs laid in hidden spots for protection
- Life cycle lasting for about one year
- Growth from nymph to adult through several molts
In summary, katydid reproduction involves mating calls, egg-laying, and a year-long life cycle with multiple molts. Their diet preferences can change depending on their stage in the life cycle, but they mainly consume various types of plant material. Enjoy observing these fascinating creatures and their reproductive behavior!
Katydid Behavior And Calls
Katydids are fascinating insects with unique behaviors and calls. Here, you’ll find a brief overview of how they communicate and behave in their environment.
When it comes to communication, katydids use an interesting method called stridulation. They produce sounds by rubbing their wings together, creating a call that attracts mates or warns off predators. The sound they make can vary, but it’s usually a series of rhythmic clicks or chirps.
Now let’s talk about katydid calls in more detail:
- Males are the primary callers, using their calls for courtship
- They have sound-producing organs on their front wings
- Their hearing organs, called tympanum, are located at the base of their front legs
Katydids are primarily nocturnal, so you’re more likely to hear their calls at night. Keep in mind that their green coloration allows them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, making them difficult to spot even if you hear their sounds.
In terms of behavior, katydids are masters at camouflaging themselves in leaves and branches. They can usually be found perched vertically on plants. As they blend into the foliage, it’s easier for them to see predators approaching from above and escape quickly if needed.
To sum up, katydids are not only unique in appearance but also in their communication and survival tactics. They use stridulation to create various calls for courtship or defense, and their excellent camouflage helps them remain hidden from predators while keeping an eye out for danger.
Katydid And Their Environment
Katydids, also known as longhorned grasshoppers or bush crickets, are fascinating insects that blend seamlessly into their surroundings. In this section, we’ll briefly explore their environment and eating habits.
As a katydid, your natural habitat consists mainly of gardens, flowers, and trees. It’s common to find you in grassy patches or dense foliage. Interestingly, you can also change color to camouflages with the environment, like leaves or branches.
You primarily feed on a variety of plants, making you a herbivore. Your diet can include leaves, flowers, and fruits, sometimes even venturing into sap-sucking. In gardens, you can be seen as pests due to their plant-eating habits.
But while you’re munching away on plants, it’s crucial to be cautious as you’re also hunted by several predators. Birds, bats, and spiders are among the most prominent predators, and even ants can pose a threat to your babies.
One effective way you adapt to the environment is through your defense mechanisms. When faced with danger, you can use the following:
- Camouflage: Your coloration and patterns resemble leaves, making it difficult for predators to spot you.
- Auditory signals: You produce loud sounds to startle your predators, giving you a chance to escape.
Lastly, it’s essential to remember that balance is key in any environment. While you can be seen as pests for feeding on plants, you’re also crucial for controlling other insect populations like aphids and mites – acting as a natural pesticide.
With knowledge of your surroundings, you can gracefully navigate the environment and continue to thrive in the natural world.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Katydid Eggs
Pest on Rose Stem
Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 5:49 PM
Hello! My sister-in-law gave me this segment of a stem from her rose bush growing in California’s central valley in hopes I could identify it. Can you please hekp me? I realize the photo isn’t very good but I am reluctant to take the stem out of the baggy for fear of further spreading whatever the pest is. Thanks so much!
San Joaquin Valley, California
These are Katydid Eggs, and though Katydids eat the leaves from plants including roses, we have a difficult time considering them to be plant pests. They do not do any lasting damage to the plant and they do not spread diseases. Katydids are attractive grasshopper-like insects that are generally green, which camouflages them against the leaves they feed upon. Occasionally we find Katydids eating the blossoms of our roses, but we never kill the insects. At most, we relocate them to another plant. Adult Katydids are sometimes attracted to lights, and many species are among our most “vocal” insects, producing mating calls by a method known as stridulation. We are uncertain which species of Katydid produced the eggs in your photograph.
Thank you so much!
I have given them back to Daisy and she plans to put them back in her garden and watch them hatch.
I have a fear of bugs and I LOVE your website because you not only educate us (and fear is usually a reaction to what is not known) but also encourage a non-lethal way of dealing with them. You are doing a wonderful service with your ‘art project’!
Letter 2 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: found on apricot branch
Location: La Mesa, CA
March 14, 2013 10:17 pm
These ?eggs were found adherent to a small branch of a baby apricot tree. What are they and will they harm the tree?
Signature: concerned gardner
Dear concerned gardener,
Do not be concerned. These are Katydid Eggs. You can verify that by looking at the images on the Missouri Botanical Garden website where it states: “They do not pose any particular problem for the home gardener, but do feed on shrub and tree foliage.” We welcome Katydids to our own Mount Washington, Los Angeles gardens. Though they eat leaves, we do not consider them to be a problem and we like seeing and hearing them. Many Katydids including Bush Katydids resemble green grasshoppers with really long antennae.
Thanks!!! You are awesome!
Letter 3 – Katydid Eggs
Another for your eggs page?
Hi. 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your site for months (some people would probably say I’ve been enjoying it too much; I think the whole household is getting tired of being called in to see some weird/beautiful/crazy bug!). It’s helped me with several buggy identity questions. But, finally I’ve got one that has me stumped. Found these on a dead branch of an heirloom rose bush (Zepherine Drouhin, 1861) this afternoon, and am totally clueless. At first I thought scale, then hibernating insects…once I pried a couple loose (believe me, they were stuck down quite well!), and saw that they were the same featurless pearly lavender grey on the underside, I realized I was looking at egg cases. But of what? We don’t get a whole lot of insect life on the plants (aside from 2005’s Japanese Beetle invasion), being on the third floor, so it’s most likely something that flies. We’ve had an exceptionally mild winter here in Maryland (so mild I hesitate to glorify it with ‘winter’, in fact), so insect oddities are sure to abound this summer. These are about 1/8 of an inch long, neatly tiled (there are six of them in total), and the color is right in the middle between these two photos. I’m just north of Washington DC. I’d kind of like to know what these are before I succumb to my usual ‘bring it inside and see what it hatches into!’ impulse. My roommates may not be happy if I let a hundred or so Japanese Beetles or something hatch in the kitchen! (but I’ll be a hero to the cats for bringing them toys.
Just think of the thrill your household will get when you show them your letter posted. These are Katydid Eggs. Katydids lay their disklike eggs in the fall. The eggs of the angularwinged katydid are 0.125 to 0.15 inch long and laid in two overlapping rows on the surface of twigs and leaves, just as your photo indicates.
Letter 4 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Unknown egg deposits
Geographic location of the bug: Riverside County, California
Time: 01:54 PM EDT
I have found what are apparently eggs deposited on my containerized blueberry plants in Inland Empire California. I observed no apparent adult responsible, but as you can see there is both stem and leaf damage. The web is from a spider that is presently throughout my gardens. Would appreciate any identification guidance, and any tips for management in the instance that this vector may damage crops.
Incidentally we have not previously observed these eggs in this area.
How you want your letter signed: Agricola
These are Katydid Eggs, and we believe they are most likely Angle-Wing Katydid Eggs based on this BugGuide image. Many young Katydids are omnivorous and they might help control other insect pests that are found on your plants, but Katydids also eat leaves and flowers. They are rarely plentiful enough to do any permanent damage to plants, but tell that to a rose grower whose prize bud gets chewed by a Katydid. We tolerate Katydids in our own garden as we enjoy the “music” provided by the adult insects.
Letter 5 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: lined bugs along avocado leaf
Location: Tampa Florida
June 9, 2016 2:25 pm
What are these bugs lining an avocado leaf in Tampa, Florda?
Signature: Holly E Huff
These are Katydid Eggs. Katydids are large, usually green insects that are related to and which resemble Grasshoppers, but with much longer antennae. Like Crickets, Katydids make audible sounds that contribute to the orchestra of sound produced by insects. Though they feed on leaves, Katydids are solitary feeders who do litter harm to garden plants. We would encourage you to tolerate them in your garden.
Letter 6 – Katydid Eggs
Another Katydid egg photo
You’re site is fantastic! I was able to identify these eggs that I found on a hanger in my basement. We live on a farm in an old farmhouse (in Iowa). Our basement plays host to numeours treefrogs, toads, & salamanders so there was no telling what these things were. Any additional information you have on hatching them would be appreciated. There is no better learning tool than to experience real life science. I’m very fortunate in that my daughter (7 years) loves bugs, snakes and nature as much as I do! We’ve used your site to identify several caterpillars and moths that share our corner of the world. Thanks so much for all your efforts!
Sandy & Miya McAntire
Hi Sandy and Miya,
Keep the eggs cool or they will hatch too early. They will hatch on their own. The young Katydids will eat most green leaves, but tender spring foilage will be best.
Letter 7 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Insect eggs on citrus leaf
Location: Houston TX
November 20, 2014 8:14 pm
This was on the top leaf of a 2 year old grafted citrus. I haven’t seen it before and was interested to know what it is.
These are Katydid Eggs. Katydids are relatives of Grasshoppers and most North American Katydids are green. They are solitary feeders, and though they eat leaves (and rose blossoms in our garden) they do not do significant damage. We allow Katydids to feed off the plants in our garden because they in turn provide food for other predators, including insect eating birds.
Letter 8 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Insect eggs
Geographic location of the bug: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Time: 02:07 PM EDT
Hi! I have searuched and searched but cannot find out what these are. Found then on a leaf of my Schefflera arboricola, outside on back patio. They are hard and about .5mm. Please help! Thank you!
How you want your letter signed: Brenda Horn
Letter 9 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Crazy scale like bug!
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
April 3, 2014 6:09 am
I have a mature clematis vine in my garden. While pruning it. I came across this symmetrical, armor-looking growth on the vine. I picked one off and it seemed sticky on the underside. It reminds me of some sort of scale or maybe some insect larvae. I’ve searched the internet and googled EVERY POSSIBLE combination of words and I cannot find ANYTHING. Please help me identify this creature! Blessings
Signature: Lacey O.
These are actually the eggs of a Katydid.
Wow. Thank you! What a quick response! I will let them be then. 🙂
Letter 10 – Katydid from Costa Rica
Location: Arenal area, Costa Rica
February 16, 2014
And here are the orthoptera and weevil. The grasshopper is from Hacienda Baru (central Pacific lowlands), and the others are also from Arenal.
Thanks for your enthusiasm about the natural world. Please use our standard submission form which can be accessed by clicking the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our homepage when sending in your identification requests. Please confine each submission to a single species, but you may attach as many as three photographs of that single species. Though we are a pop culture website and our staff does not have the scientific background that entomologists have, we try to follow taxonomic classification to the best of our ability. Since there are images of a weevil and a grasshopper as well as this impressive female Katydid (a more specific classification than Orthopteran) in this particular request, we have selected the Katydid from this batch for posting. Since you did not use our form, we needed to cobble information from your previous identification request of a Katydid to recreate the information that is automatically generated in our standard form. It is unclear how many of these insects were found at the 600 meter elevation that was indicated in your original January 26 email. It is unclear if they were all found in a women’s bathroom, which is also information from your original email. We will contact Piotr Naskrecki to see if he is able to provide any information on this female Katydid with a sickle shaped ovipositor.
Piotr Naskrecki Responds
This is a yet undescribed species of Clepsydronotus sp. (Pseudophyllinae), which I will probably publish later this year (but have not decided on the name, yet).
Letter 11 – Katydid from Germany
Light Green hopper
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
August 15, 2010 7:16 am
Kids in our Church are finding these Light green insects that look like a grasshopper or cricket of some sort; Could you please help us to identify them.
The picture was taken in my office where we found this one sitting on top of a small cactus plant on my desk.
Kids at Victory Baptist Church
Dear Kids at Victory Baptist Church,
This is an immature Katydid. The undeveloped wings indicate it is immature. Katydids are similar to grasshoppers, but their most obvious physical difference is the antennae. Katydids have long antennae and are classified as the Longhorned Orthopterans, and Grasshoppers with their shorter antennae are classified as Shorthorned Orthopterans. We will contact an expert on Katydids, Piotr Naskrecki, to see if he recognizes your specimen.
Correction from Piotr Naskrecki
This is not a nymph, but an adult male of Leptophyes punctatissima (Tettigoniidae, Phaneropterinae).
Ed. Note: In some species of Katydids, the wings do not fully develop even as adults.
Letter 12 – Katydid from British Virgin Islands
Location: Tortola, BVI
March 25, 2014 6:59 pm
I asked about this a while ago but included 3 different species by accident and rightfully on got one species identified. Anyways, this is a katydid I discovered on a door on Tortola in the Bristish Virgin Islands. I am doing a project on identifying everything I photograph and would love to know the species this is! Thanks!
Signature: Charlie M
We are posting your beautiful photos and we will attempt to research your request. Piotr Naskrecki is in the field and he has still not answered our last request for assistance.
Letter 13 – Katydid from Costa Rica is female Steirodon careovirgulatum
Subject: Amazing camouflage
Location: Costa Rica
March 23, 2016 10:48 am
Best doggone camouflage of nature that I’ve seen in a long time. The body/wings are PERFECT green leaf replicas, right down to the veining and the slight rippling of the “leaf” surface. The crest on the head might be mistaken for a flower bud and the bright yellow eyes are so tiny that they might be mistaken for the eggs of some tiny insect. This critter is sitting on a 4″ steel beam. Directly above it, the wood beam is full dimensional 2″. Fantastic! Photo taken in Costa Rica’s Central Valley (Atenas) at mid-morning, 23 March 2016.
We found a matching Katydid image on Friends of the Rainforest, but alas, the species is not identified. We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide an identification.
Thank you! Our critter “buddy” is still hanging around so I went to examine him again. The only difference that I can see is that the one at our location has very much greener legs. This might be simply the lighting or a photographic artifact but everything else looks exactly on the money.
This is a female of Steirodon careovirgulatum, one of the largest katydids in Costa Rica.
Letter 14 – Katydid eats and gets eaten!!!
Spearhead Gumleaf Katydid
Living in The Great Smoky Mountains, I never know what will happen next. I had just put out some birdseed when the Katydid flew in over my right shoulder and started dining. Its head bobbed up and down as it chowed down! The very next morning, as the sun was just about to make an appearance, I saw something stuck in the hummingbird feeder. Yes, a Katydid, and it was so “into” the sugar water that I was able to get as close as I pleased without even being noticed. The following day, on my way down the front steps, I found the orb weaving spider dining on a Katydid! Was it the same reckless one, or three different ones? Rhetorical question… Thanx again for listening,
Hi again R.G.
This looks like an Angular Winged Katydid to us. The spider is an Orbweaver.
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: Microcentrum sp.
Letter 15 – Katydid from Ecuador
Subject: Brown Katydid
December 4, 2013 6:37 pm
Found this in my jardin.
Ecuador, Baños de Agua Santa
Many, many thanks!
Signature: Leona Kali
We will check with Piotr Naskrecki, a Katydid expert, to see if he can provide a genus name for your Katydid.
Letter 16 – Katydid from Ecuador
December 3, 2013 11:47 pm
Found this bug in my jardin.
Ecuador, Baños de Agua Santa
This is definitely a Katydid, but we cannot say for certain that it is a Lobster Katydid in the genus Panoploscelis. We will try to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can confirm its identity. Your individual is a female as evidenced by her swordlike ovipositor. Your individual does look very much like the Lobster Katydid pictured on VisualPhotos.
Piotr Naskrecki provides identification
No, this is not Panoploscelis. It is a nymph of a species from the tribe Cocconotini (Pseudophyllinae), but hard to say which genus.
Letter 17 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Flat bug on Sanseviera (Mother in law tongue)
Location: Northeast Ohio
February 17, 2014 7:03 am
A friend received a piece of a Sanseviera plant (Mother in law tongue) so that he could grow his own at home. On one of the blades of the plant, there were these brown, oval, flat things that could be bugs…all sat in a line along the blade of the plant. I’m from Northeast Ohio and have never seen them before. Your help is much appreciated.
Signature: Bug Struck in Ohio
Dear Bug Struck in Ohio,
These are Katydid Eggs. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden site: “They do not pose any particular problem for the home gardener, but do feed on shrub and tree foliage.” Though Katydids feed on leaves and blossoms (in our garden they love roses), we do not eradicate them. They are solitary feeders and we do not believe they do much damage other than cosmetic damage. We do not exhibit our roses, so if there are some bites taken out of the petals, we don’t fret. Katydids are wonderful insects that are among the most vocal (though sound is produced by rubbing body parts together rather than through vocal cords) and their “songs” cheer us up.
Letter 18 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Eggy Weggs
Location: Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM
April 12, 2015 6:06 pm
I recently planted a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick in my back yard. While watering it this evening my wife pointed out these seven white eggs and I was wondering if they will hatch into something that wants to eat my little tree. I am hoping it will turn out to be something carnivorous that would help eat all of the aphids in our yard instead. Please advise, Bugman.
Signature: Ethan Firestone
It sounds like you love your garden very much, and any gardener knows that a lush garden provides habitat for many native species, including butterflies, birds and many other creatures. A pesticide free garden provides much more diversity than one in which the caretaker uses chemicals to help control insect populations. These are the eggs of a Katydid, and though Katydids will eat the leaves of plants, they are actually quite welcome in our own garden. Katydids are sound producing insects that help contribute to the orchestra of night noises, and though they eat leaves, no permanent damage is done to the plants as they are solitary feeders that you are more likely to hear than to see as they are so well camouflaged.
Letter 19 – Katydid Eggs
Location: Los Angeles
February 27, 2017 7:37 pm
At first glance from a distance I thought the subject of the attached photo was some sort of caterpillar hanging out on the corner of a gate post in our backyard. But when it didn’t move I got a closer look and found what appears to be two very neat rows of… eggs? As usual I will appreciate any guidance you might be able to offer.
Signature: Will Campbell
Once again What’s That Bug rocks! Thank you so much, Daniel.
Letter 20 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Wierd eggs
Location: Broomfield CO
April 2, 2017 10:44 am
Woke up to these on the railing of my deck and I’m worried they could be something bad and I have a two year old please help me figure out what they are I don’t want to hurt them if they aren’t going to hurt me
Thank you very much I will leave them alone to hatch!
Letter 21 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Possible bug larvae?
Location: Caldwell, Idaho
April 6, 2017 6:26 pm
We came across these little ovals on the branches of our little outside blueberry bush. They didn’t move and were difficult to pick off. They appear to be some sort of larvae, but we’re not sure.
These are the eggs of a Katydid. Though Katydids eat leaves, in our opinion, they do not do enough damage to be of concern. Since adult Katydids are among nature’s most audible musicians, we enjoy having these generally green, Grasshopper-like insects in our garden.
Letter 22 – Katydid Eggs
Subject: Dragonfly eggs?
Geographic location of the bug: Southeast Pennsylvania
Time: 10:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi
I found this yesterday on my rose bush, April 30, 2019
I used the iNatuarlist app to try to identify, if briefly showed up as dragon/darner fly eggs
How you want your letter signed: Natalie DelGiorno
Thank for answering. I found a picture on the web
I have the eggs in an aquarium, hoping they will hatch as a science project for kids
I also found a a preying mantis egg sac, an optics,(sure the spelling is wrong. It looks like half is broken, but I put it in an aquarium too
The thing about the preying mantis egg is that I saw her last October near the place where I found the eggs. There are also 2 others!
Letter 23 – Katydid Eggs
Geographic location of the bug: Colorado. On daughters back-up wheel chair tire in a closet
Time: 05:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: About 2 pencil leads wide and 1” long. Symmetrical like a pine cone. Beige/tan in color.
How you want your letter signed: Good bug?
This is not a pupa. These are the eggs of a Katydid. Katydids generally lay eggs on twigs, but they will use other locations. We do find it odd that the eggs were found in a closet and we suspect they were laid prior to the wheel being placed in the closet. Katydid eat leaves and flowers from many garden plants, and though they will damage individual leaves and blossoms, their feeding does not have a detrimental effect on the plants.
Thank you so much for responding back! We can’t figure it out either since that set of wheel chair tires have been in that closet for over 7 years. Anyway, thx to you, the mystery is solved.
Letter 24 – Katydid and Elongated Long-Jawed Orbweaver
Subject: Beautiful katydid and an elongated long-lawed orbweaver?
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
October 1, 2016 1:29 pm
I’ve had the immense pleasure of working in and around many streams this past summer. You can imagine some of the lovelies I got the opportunity to see! This is Nova Scotia, so we don’t get a whole lot of exotic beauties here ;-), but I’ve always got my eyes peeled. I wanted to share two of the critters I found in my travels. The first I’m hoping to confirm, but I suspect it is an elongated long-jawed orbweaver. I ran into many of the plainer looking long-jaws in and around the culverts and bridges, but this one was different and was not sitting in that typical ‘straightened’ position. The pattern on his or her abdomen is simply gorgeous.
The second photo is of a katydid I spotted hanging out on the ground feasting on something (didn’t notice that part until after I coaxed it onto my hand and it shoved a foot in its mouth and drooled on me, haha). I simply love the angle and the great view of his eyes so I wanted it to go forth into the universe, should I be lucky enough to get this post seen. Forget all the fantastic work experience I got – the bugs I got to see and hold were the highlight of my field work.
Fun notes: People get insanely scared of the massive amounts of incredibly well-fed argiopes in the marsh grasses and it’s hilarious to watch them screech…until a large black wasp creature lands on you and then you scream like a little girl too (which turns out to also be hilarious in hindsight)
It’s a very sad affair when you do not have your camera in reach and you run into an amazing six-spotted fishing spider FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME in your life. I mean, there are dreams of college graduation and sports cars, but the first six-spotted fishing spider and he’s actively fishing, but no camera… *cry*
Thanks so much for your wonderfully enthusiastic submission. We believe your Katydid may be a Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata, which is pictured on BugGuide, but we are not certain. Your Orbweaver is a Long-Jawed Orbweaver in the genus Tetragnatha. According to BugGuide: “These spiders spin circular (orb) webs, mostly in the horizontal plane, often just inches above the surface of water where they can intercept emerging insects like midges, mayflies, and stoneflies” and “Larger species near water, especially along the shores of rivers and streams. Smaller species in fields and meadows.” Yes, large Argiopes are scary looking, but perfectly harmless, though large individuals might bite if carelessly handled. We are sorry to hear about missing getting an image of a Six Spotted Fishing Spider, so we are linking to some marvelous images from our archives.
Letter 25 – Katydid found near Water Fall
Subject: ID please
Location: near water fall
September 16, 2014 6:58 pm
Please ID this bug. First it looks moth to me. But i am confused.
UHHH, and where was this water fall?????
Karl Identifies mystery Katydid: September 25, 2014
Hi Daniel and hello:
It looks like Parasanaa donovani (Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae). It is apparently the only species in the genus Parasanaa. There’s not much information to be found but according to Wikipedia it feeds on some kind of cactus and “When the thorax is pinched, the insect squirts a slimy yellow fluid from two slits on the dorsal surface of the mesothorax, with a range of three to four inches. One aperture may discharge at first, and the other after the insect is pinched again. Some fluid also oozes out from other apertures over the body and legs, and also from the stumps of broken-off legs.” The species was first described from India and most of the surprisingly few online references also suggest it is an Indian katydid, but the Orthoptera Species File gives a distribution that stretches from India to the Solomon Islands. The waterfall remains a mystery. Regards. Karl
Thanks so much Karl. You have more patience than we do. We weren’t going to take any time to research the identity of this Katydid without a true location.
Letter 26 – Katydid from Argentina
Subject: Maybe a kind of tarantula hawk?
March 28, 2017 6:57 am
I found it in a friend’s garden situated in San Isidro, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to know what kind of insect it is.
Signature: Ricardo Barba
This is NOT a Tarantula Hawk. It is a Katydid, and it is either immature or a flightless species. The ovipositor on the tip of the abdomen indicates this is a female. This species is not illustrated on Foto Fauna. It appears to be the same species as this unidentified individual in our archives from a 2006 posting.
Hi Daniel! Thank you very much for such a fast response. Amazing insect! I’m glad that now I know what it is.
Have a great week!!
We love getting Argentine insects for identification.
Letter 27 – Katydid from Australia
Subject: What is this please?
Geographic location of the bug: Perth Western Australia
Time: 02:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Found in my carport.
How you want your letter signed: Thank you in advance
The closest visual match we could locate online of your female Katydid are the postings of the genus Pachysaga on Atlas of Living Australia.
Letter 28 – Katydid from Austria
Subject: Dragon like bug
July 6, 2016 10:46 am
I found this beautiful wandering through my garden. Can you help me find out, what it is? (So I can give it an appropriate dragon like name).
Thanks a billion!
This is an immature male Katydid, but we are not certain of the species.
Letter 29 – Katydid from Bangladesh
Subject: Unknown bug
Geographic location of the bug: Bangladesh
Time: 03:36 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: What can it do
How you want your letter signed: Bugger
Though it appears to be missing its hind legs that are used for jumping, we believe this is a Katydid. We have images of somewhat similar looking species from Costa Rica on our site.
Letter 30 – Katydid from Borneo
Subject: Giant ?leaf insect from Borneo plus cool spider
Location: Kinabatangan river,Sabah,Borneo
February 20, 2013 7:15 am
I have used your wonderful service before now to help with ID of Borneo insects – hope that you can help with these from Borneo, riverine forest near the Kinabatangan river, found at night.
The Leaf Insect is a Katydid and we do not recognize the species. We will try to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he is able to assist in this identification.
Update from Piotr Naskrecki: February 23, 2013
This is a female of Eumecopoda sp. (Mecopodinae). There are probably several undescribed species in this genus, and this is likely one of them.
Letter 31 – Katydid from Costa Rica
Subject: What is this
Geographic location of the bug: San Jose, Costa Rica
Time: 01:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Saw this a few weeks ago in San Jose Costa Rica in the late afternoon. Note the barb. What is this?
How you want your letter signed: Jim R
This is a Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, and what you have described as a “barb” is actually an ovipositor, an organ adapted to function during the egg laying process, indicating that this is a female. We do not recognize the species.
Letter 32 – Katydid from Costa Rica: maybe Aegimia elongata
I found this poor thing floating dead in my swimming pool in the morning. Is this some sort of grasshopper? I’ve seen other hoppers that resemble leaves, but none like this one. He has that horn and black eyes. I din’t see any like this one on your hopper section so maybe it’s another kind of bug.
This is some species of Katydid.
Update: (02/27/2008) Costa Rican Katydid in Swimming Pool
Sirs – Re: The katydid found in a swimming pool in Costa Rica submitted on St. Valentine’s Day 2007, I believe that it could be Aegimia elongata or a close relative in the subfamily Phaneropterinae (see http://os2001.cirad.fr/Images/1-AEL-PN.jpg).
Sinks Grove, WV.
Thanks Ed. We believe you are correct.
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: Aegimia (possibly cultrifera)
Letter 33 – Katydid from Costa Rica, possibly Mimetica species
Dead leaf mimic
January 31, 2010
Hi, I got a photo of this dead leaf mimic in Monteverde, Costa Rica during a night walk. Can you tell me what it is exactly please?
Often the identification of tropical insects can be very difficult, and the best we are able to do is the family level, or even merely the level of order. Interestingly, back in 2008, we received an image that was taken in Panama in the 1970s of a Katydid that was identified by Piotr Naskrecki, an expert in the family, as Mimetica crenulata. Your Katydid looks very similar to that individual, and we believe it may be in the same genus. While the image of Mimetica crenulata has an undulating wing edge, your specimen has what appears to be the petiole, or place where the leaf would be attached to the plant as part of its very effective mimicry. We will attempt to contact Piotr Naskrecki to verify that identification. More searching led us to a photo online on the Ecolibrary website, but no species name was provided.
This is probably a female of Mimetica incisa.
Letter 34 – Katydid from Guyana
Subject: Moss mimic Katydid
Location: Atta Canopy Walkway, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana
August 13, 2014 2:23 pm
I found this chap at Atta Canopy Walkway in Guyana, it was right outside my cabin hiding in the bushes at head height, during the day.
There are very few pics online to attempt an ID (I was searching Acanthodis and Haemodiasma) so I was hoping your experts could help!?
Thanks in advance!
We are attempting to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can assist in your identification request of this magnificent Katydid.
Fantastic, many thanks in advance! 🙂
Letter 35 – Katydid from Costa Rica: Acanthodis curvidens
Geographic location of the bug: Southern Nicoya Peninsula
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Can you identify this bug?
I took these pictures a couple of days ago in a house near Santa Teresa.
It looks a bit like a Haemodiasma Tessellata but the body is flatter and the shape of the head looks different. It has very long, thin antennae, approx twice the length of the body, which are not fully visible in the pictures.
Thanks a lot!
How you want your letter signed: Matteo
We agree that your individual does resemble a Moss Mimic Katydid, Haemodiasma tessellata, and it also resembles the Panama Sylvan Katydid, Acanthodis curvidens. We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide a species identification.
Piotr Naskrecki provides the identification.
Happy New Year to you, too! This is Acanthodis curvidens. Haeodiasma tessellata has a stouter body and the strongly curved spines (“curvidens”) on the hind femur are a giveaway.
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Letter 36 – Katydid from Argentina
What’s this bug?
Hello. I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I found this bug in my garden, I really don’t know what it is. I thought it could be some kind of cricket, but I’m totally clueless. I hope you can tell me what it is and if it’s somehow dangerous. Thank you very much,
You have provided us with an interesting mystery. This insect most resembles a rare group of insects in New Zealand known as Wetas. Wikipedia has a nice image of a Giant Weta, Deinacrida fallai. These Wetas are Orthopterans, the Order of insects that included Crickets. They are in the Family Anostostomatidae. We have found web information that there are species of insects in the family Anostostomatidae in Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, but cannot find images. Shortly after you sent in your photos and question, a Jonathan Simmons, sent in one of your images calling this creature a “Nasty Critter.” Your specimen is a female and she is not dangerous, though some Orthopterans can bite, but do not have poison. Others have sharp spines on the legs that can do damage to human skin. Your specimen is missing the two hind legs, the jumping legs. We want to get Eric Eaton’s opinion on your creature. Here is what Eric has to add: ” You are quite right about the specimen missing both of its hind legs, and that really makes identification difficult. I suspect is is some kind of Copiphorinae katydid in the family Tettigoniidae. There are several tropical species still awaiting description by science, don’t know if this is one of them. It is a female, as can be told by te blade-like ovipositor at the end of the abdomen. She may be immature, or simply a wingless adult.”
Letter 37 – Katydid from Costa Rica: Ancistrocercus circumdatus
February 23, 2010
Wondering what this is – common and latin name
chira Island, Costa Rica
Our readership enjoys hearing details about the sightings that are submitted to our website. For identification purposes, additional information is often quite helpful. The spare wording of your letter (and that of your numerous other submissions) fails to engage our readership and doesn’t provide us with anything helpful except a location. We will contact an expert in the Orthopterans, Piotr Naskrecki, to see if he can provide a response.
This is a pair of Ancistrocercus circumdatus (Pseudophyllinae), a species
common in Guanacaste.
Technically, these Katydids are not mating, but since Piotr Naskrecki indicated that they are a pair, we are taking creative license and tagging them as Bug Love.
Ok thank you for the feedback. I didn’t want to be long winded as I don’t have too much to offer and I thought people wanted brief listings, but I can add a few things I guess as to the area I found it in. Can I update it online?
Yes you may.
Letter 38 – Katydid from Costa Rica
Subject: Huge katydid
Location: Arenal area, Costa Rica
January 26, 2014 6:08 pm
Found in women’s bathroom (not by me!) at zipline facility (SkyAdventure) near Arenal National Park, Costa Rica (elevation approx. 600 meters, Caribbean slope). The body was about 4 inches; total length about 12 inches including antennae. I couldn’t find a good resource online, but a few somewhat similar images I stumbled onto were labelled as either Acanthodiphrus or Haemodiasma.
Signature: Ben Jesup
We have a photo of a Moss Mimic Katydid, Haemodiasma tessellata, from Costa Rica in our archives, and Piotr Naskrecki who identified it states: “often found in mid- to high elevation forests. They sometimes fly to light at night” which explains its presence in the women’s bathroom. Piotr is currently on expedition in Mozambique, but we will attempt to contact him for verification. A photo on FlickR looks nearly identical to your individual.
Piotr Naskrecki Responds
This pretty katydid is Championica montana (Pseudophyllinae), a fairly common species in lowland to mid-elevation forests of Costa Rica and Panama.
Thanks! And thanks to Piotr. I have some books on order (or interlibrary loan) that I hope will help me with the Lepidoptera, but this gorgeous monster had me stumped.
Letter 39 – Katydid from Borneo
Leaf Mimic Katydid from Borneo
Location: Mt Kinabalu,Sabah,Malaysia
February 4, 2012 7:24 pm
Congratulations on a wonderful website. Could you or Piotr please identify this katydid? It was on a begonia leaf and about 5cm long (2.5 inches) and was found on the slopes of Mt Kinabalu in the forest during a trip we made in August 2011.It was an ornithological trip but the bugs were almost more compelling. Thanks
Signature: Mark Eller
This Katydid is truly stunning, and the patterns and colors on its wings look gorgeous with the patterns and colors on the begonia leaf. We had no luck with our initial attempts to identify this species, and we will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he is able to assist us.
Piotr Naskrecki provides an identification
This looks like Eulophophyllum (Tettigoniidae: Phaneropterinae), but probably an undesribed species. Very pretty.
Update: January 4, 2017
Peter Kirk just provided us with a pdf copy of the journal article that was published this past December.
Letter 40 – Katydid from Guatemala
March 17, 2010
Eric Eaton sent me to you and he believes the picture I am attaching is a katydid. At first, thought it was some sort of kissing bug because I live in Antigua Guatemala and woke up one morning to this bugger on a spray bottle in my kitchen. It was huge and scared the daylights out of me! I’m also attaching another picture of a spider my husband found (he works in the Peten in the middle of the jungle.) Was wondering if it is a species of Wolf Spider? (it was the size of my husband’s hand.) Any help would be appreciate.
We will address you identification requests in different postings. This is definitely a Katydid, but we do not know the species. It is a female. We will contact katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he recognizes the species.
This is a female of Nannonotus alatus (Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae), a species common at mid- to high elevations (especially in Alajuela and San Jose Provinces), where it can be found under bark of tall trees.
Letter 41 – Katydid from Guatemala: Moncheca pretiosa
Subject: Blue Insect in Guatemala
Location: El Remate, Guatemala
January 7, 2013 1:08 pm
Hello. I took this photo of an insect in the jungle near El Remate, Guatemala. It was taken in the morning in June last year. I haven’t been able to identify it, and I am curious about what it is.
Signature: Stuart Edgar
This is one beautiful Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, however, we have not been able to locate any matching images on the internet. The black ovipositor that seems to resemble a stinger is an indication that she is a female. We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide a species identification.
Piotr Naskrecki provides an ID
This beauty is Moncheca pretiosa (Conocephalinae).
Thanks for identifying it. I was always curious about it and someone told me about your website.
Letter 42 – Katydid from Borneo
What is this insect?
July 28, 2009
I took this photo at Poring Hot Springs in Sabah, Borneo. It was about 15 cm long, at least half of that being the antennae.
When it comes to tropical insects, identification for us is often a c%#p-shoot. With that said, we are relatively certain that this is an Orthopteran, and more specifically, one of the Long Horned Orthopterans in the suborder Ensifera, and probably one of the Katydids in the family Tettigoniidae. We would like a second opinion on that and perhaps one of our readers will be able to come up with a genus and species. Karl, are you busy?
Not unexpectedly, Borneo is blessed with an impressive diversity of katydids (Tettigoniidae), most of them poorly documented on the internet. My hunch is that Susan’s bug is in the genus Pseudophyllus which has many of the right characteristics (large size, green color and, at least sometimes, dorsovdentral compression). Most species also have the shoulder spots evident in Susan’s photo, although I couldn’t find any images that looked quite right. It is a relatively small genus with at least three representatives on Borneo (P. dyaka, P. colosseus and P. hercules). Nothing else I found came close, but if I find the time I may try to look again. Regards.
July 29, 2009
Wow, thanks! Well, i’m thrilled about that because that’s what I thought it was but a naturalist friend of mine said it couldn’t possibly be a katydid. It’s always so gratifying to be vindicated. LOL! BTW, did this go up on the blog? Don’t you think he’s beautiful? Anyway, I’ll look forward to the other opinions, too.
Thanks again, Daniel.
Update: January 24, 2013
We just received a comment that suggested the genus Phyllozelus, and this image on FlickR looks quite close.