Exploring the Appearance of Katydids: A Visual Guide

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Katydids are fascinating insects that belong to the order Orthoptera, which also includes grasshoppers and crickets. You might have seen or heard them in the summertime, but do you know what they look like?

These insects are usually green in color, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings. A common feature of many katydids is their leaf-like wings. In fact, the common true katydid has green wings that look almost exactly like leaves. In addition to their wings, they have long, threadlike antennae, which distinguishes them from grasshoppers that have shorter antennae.

Now that you have a mental image of what a katydid looks like, it’s easy to appreciate their unique appearance. Pay attention to the greenery around you, and you just might spot one of these intriguing members of the insect world.

Physical Appearance of a Katydid

Color and Body Structure

A katydid’s body color is usually green, providing excellent camouflage as they blend with leaves and other foliage. Some rare individuals might be pink. Their body structure closely resembles that of long-horned grasshoppers, but they have longer, threadlike antennae.

Size and Wingspan

Katydids are generally medium-sized insects, with body length ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Their hind wings are shorter than their front wings, which are leathery and inflated to act as protective coverings.

Distinctive Features

Some unique features of katydids include:

  • Long, threadlike antennae
  • Green, leaf-like wings that provide camouflage
  • Convex, inflated front wings, called tegmina

These characteristics distinguish them from other insects, such as grasshoppers and crickets.

Male vs Female Katydids

While male and female katydids share many physical features (like their color and wings), there are some distinctions. One significant difference is the ovipositor, a flattened, bladelike structure that protrudes from the female’s abdomen, used for egg-laying. Males also have sound-producing organs on their front wings.

To summarize, a katydid’s appearance includes features such as:

  • Green color for camouflage
  • Body length of 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Wings that closely resemble leaves
  • Long, threadlike antennae
  • Ovipositor in females for egg-laying
  • Sound-producing organs in males on front wings

These characteristics make them easily distinguishable from other insects and well-adapted to their environment.

Behavior and Habits

Songs and Sounds

Katydids are known for their unique songs which they produce primarily at night, as they are mostly nocturnal creatures.

These songs consist of:

  • Chirps
  • Clicks
  • Buzzes

The sounds are made through a process called stridulation, where the katydid rubs its wings together. Males use these songs primarily for attracting mates and as a way to establish territories.

Territorial and Reproductive Behavior

Katydids exhibit territorial behavior, especially adult males. They engage in competitions for resources, such as food and mating partners with other males. In some species, these males perform “duets,” where both males and females perform call-and-response songs, reinforcing their bonds and sometimes even synchronizing their songs.

Reproductive behavior in katydids involves a unique aspect called a spermatophylax. Males produce a nutritious substance that is attached to their sperm packet, which they offer to the female during mating. This ensures that the female consumes the spermatophylax to decrease the chances of sperm consumption, thus increasing the male’s reproductive success.

Locomotion

Katydids primarily use their hind legs or back legs for locomotion, which enables them to jump considerable distances when needed. Their legs are well-adapted for this purpose, allowing them to reach higher branches in their mostly arboreal habitats.

In summary, the nocturnal behavior of katydids involves unique songs, territorial and reproductive behavior, and efficient jumping abilities, as they navigate their habitats in search of mates and resources. Remember to listen for their distinct songs the next time you find yourself outdoors on a quiet night!

Lifecycle and Reproduction

Eggs to Nymphs

Katydids begin their lives as eggs, laid by females in late summer. The common true katydid has a lifespan of about a year. Females use their ovipositor to deposit eggs on leaves, twigs, or bark.

Once they hatch, the young katydids, called nymphs, resemble tiny versions of adult katydids. As they grow, they undergo a series of molts. Every time a nymph molts, it sheds its old exoskeleton and reveals a new, larger one.

Adult Katydids

After several molts, the nymphs become adult katydids. They possess long, threadlike antennae and green bodies, with some species measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches in length. The green wings of a common true katydid resemble leaves, acting as a camouflage.

Reproduction Process

Adult katydids engage in the reproductive process to ensure the survival of their species. Males attract females by creating songs using their front wings. After mating, the females lay eggs on suitable substrates using their ovipositor.

Example:

  • Adult size: 1.5 – 2.5 inches
  • Body color: Green
  • Antennae: Long, threadlike
  • Wings: Green, leaf-like

In summary, katydids begin their lives as eggs and hatch into nymphs that gradually grow and molt into adult forms. The adults reproduce by attracting mates through songs, mating, and laying eggs, starting the lifecycle anew.

Habitat and Distribution

Common Habitats

Katydids can be found in various habitats, including:

  • Grasslands: They thrive in areas with abundant tall grass, providing shelter and food.
  • Woods: In wooded areas, katydids camouflage themselves among the leaves and branches.
  • Parks and gardens: You may spot them in your local park or garden as they are attracted to the plant life.
  • Fields: Open fields are home to many katydids due to the plentiful food source from grasses.

Geographical Distribution

Katydids have a wide geographical distribution that spans different continents:

  • Canada and the U.S.: They are prevalent in various habitats throughout North America, ensuring their survival from coast to coast.
  • Amazon Rainforest: The tropics of South America harbor a significant population of katydids, mainly in the dense Amazon rainforest.
  • Tropics: Warm, tropical environments further support katydid populations.
  • Australia: The continent down under is home to many unique katydid species as well.

Enjoy the friendliness of these insects and keep an eye out for them in various habitats across the globe.

Diet and Predators

What Katydids Eat

Katydids are mostly herbivorous insects. Their primary food source includes leaves from various plants. They often feed on the green parts, like the leaf, or consume the soft tissues from the edges. Some species also enjoy a variety of fruits and seeds that they come across in nature, providing them with additional nutrients.

Besides plant matter, katydids occasionally feed on other small insects such as aphids. They may also consume nectar and pollen from flowers, giving them a more diverse diet.

What Eats Katydids

In the animal world, katydids face various predators that feed on them. Some examples of predators include:

  • Bats: These nocturnal creatures use echolocation to spot katydids while they are resting or in motion. They can catch them in mid-flight and consume them as a source of protein and energy.
  • Birds: Many bird species, such as sparrows and robins, have a diet that consists of insects, including katydids. Birds can easily spot the camouflaged katydids and snatch them from leaves and branches.
  • Spiders: Some spiders, like the orb-weaver and jumping spiders, catch katydids in their webs or by actively hunting them down. They use their powerful venom to paralyze their prey before consuming them.
  • Frogs: Frogs, such as tree frogs and bullfrogs, prey on katydids and other insects. They use their long, sticky tongues to catch the katydids.
  • Rodents: Some small mammals, like mice and rats, are opportunistic eaters and may occasionally feed on katydids if other food sources are scarce.

Being part of the food chain, katydids serve an essential role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem, contributing to both plant consumption and as a food source for various predators.

Katydids and Humans

Katydids in Gardens

Katydids are fascinating insects that can be commonly found in your garden. With their green, leaf-like appearance and long, threadlike antennae, they blend in seamlessly with the foliage.

However, you might not always see them directly, as they are nocturnal creatures. They use their specialized antennae, which are filled with sensory receptors, to navigate their surroundings during the night.

Katydids as Pests

In small numbers, katydids are usually harmless to your garden. But if their population grows too large, they can become a nuisance. Some species of katydids can bite, although their bites are not known to be harmful to humans. While katydids are not as destructive as grasshoppers or locusts, they can still feed on various plants, especially when they are in the nymph stage.

In the case of a large infestation, katydids can damage valuable crops. So, it’s essential to monitor their population in your garden and manage them if necessary. Some methods of controlling katydid populations include introducing natural predators, such as birds and spiders, and using organic insecticides.

Significance in Ecosystem

Despite their potential to become pests in large numbers, katydids play a crucial role in their ecosystem. They are an important food source for various animals, including birds, bats, and spiders. By being part of the food chain, they help maintain a balance in the ecosystem. Furthermore, the unique sounds produced by male katydids during mating season contribute to the natural melodies of our environment.

So, before you decide to remove katydids from your garden, think about their importance in the ecosystem and the overall balance they help maintain.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned about the fascinating creatures called katydids. These insects are related to grasshoppers and crickets but can be distinguished by their long antennae and unique appearance.

Katydids have a leaf-green color, making it easy for them to camouflage with their environment. They possess leathery, convex front wings, known as tegmina, which help protect their more delicate hind wings.

To sum up, the following characteristics help define katydids:

  • Part of the order Orthoptera
  • Long antennae
  • Leaf-green color
  • Tegmina (protective front wings)

Remember, there are numerous species of katydids, but all share some common features that make them easily distinguishable from their grasshopper and cricket relatives. By learning about these interesting insects, you can better appreciate the diversity and adaptability found within the insect world.

Reader Emails

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 – Winged Predatory Katydid from South Africa

 

Subject:  I’ve seen two.
Geographic location of the bug:  Broederstroom South Africa
Date: 10/20/2019
Time: 12:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello. Seen two different bugs on our farm over the years. They’re big. 20cm long. https://www.instagram.com/p/NwOR6jDkQA/?igshid=psx84ahumm6z

How you want your letter signed:  Graham

Winged Predatory Katydid

Dear Graham,
This is one impressive Katydid.  We quickly located it on Photographs from South Africa where it is identified as a Winged Predatory Katydid,
Clonia wahlbergi.  Like the individual in that posting, your individual is a female as evidenced by her sickle-like ovipositor.  It is also pictured on IUCN Redlist.

Morning Daniel
That is great. It’s been bothering me for over 5 years as to what it was.
When I was playing with it we gave it some fruit and it was eating it.
So then it’s omnivorous?
Thank you
Graham

Hi again Graham,
Many predatory Katydids are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat vegetation as well as other creatures.

Letter 2 – Yellow Katydid

 

funny bright yellow bug
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
June 21, 2011 8:16 pm
hello there, i love the your facebook blog and scoured thru your website to find this bug before posting.
I found perched on top of one of my swiss chard plants, and then finally stayed on the green beans till the end of the day. I’m in the garden all the time, but have never seen one of these things. It’s super thin, and was about two inches long. My first reaction (while picking green beans) was ”what a strange bug, I hope it’s beneficial?!” after taking the pictures i noticed it is missing one of the back legs. I watched it for a long time, but it never did anything. I hope you can help, would hate to find out that i should have removed this bug.
Thanks
Signature: Beneficial Bug Lover

Yellow Oblong Winged Katydid

Dear Beneficial Bug Lover,
This is a Katydid, and while most Katydids are green in color, there are occasionally pink mutations or color variations as well as even rarer colors like yellow.  We found a matching image on BugGuide that is identified as an Oblong Winged Katydid,
Amblycorypha oblongifolia.  We will check with Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can verify our identification, however, he may be on summer break and unavailable right now.

Piotr Naskrecki responds
Hi Daniel,
This indeed looks like A. oblongifolia.
Cheers,
Piotr

Letter 3 – Unknown Katydid from Costa Rica

 

Subject:  Giant Grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Tilaran, Costa Rica
Date: 06/12/2018
Time: 08:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please identify this cricket. I found it in the garden. It was very big for a grashopper (more than 10cm)
How you want your letter signed:  Johannes

Katydid

Dear Johannes,
This is not a Grasshopper, nor is it a Cricket.  It is a Katydid, a member of the same insect order, Orthoptera.  Katydids have long, slender antennae which distinguishes them from Grasshoppers.  We have not had any luck making a species identification for you, but this female’s ovipositor is quite spectacular, which should help in the eventual identification.

Letter 4 – Unknown Turkish Orthopteran

 

Foot sized insect/bug, can’t find anywhere on Internet
Hello,
I don’t know if you replied to this email, unfortunately if you did I think it may have went into the spam box. Could you forward me your message again please?
Many thanks

Hello,
Whilst in Turkey the other year I come across this insect which for the life of me I can’t seem to find out what it is. It was easily as large as my foot and has a large spike as a tail – easily the most horrid, chunkiest thing I’ve ever seen! I tried to get a better photo but it crawled away into dense dried shrubs & grass, and to be honest I was so scared of it I couldn’t get any closer. I seem to think it may be part of the Cricket family. I’ve seen similar, much smaller ones, around 5-10cm’s in length usually in bathrooms or patio’s. The first two photo’s are of the large one, the other’s are the similar, smaller type (with the strange tail) and were found in a bathroom (one under the toilet seat!!!).
Can you please let me know what it is and any more information you could give me? I can send the full sized photo’s if need be.
Thank you so much!
Stephen Donoghue

Unknown Turkish Orthopteran
Unknown Turkish Orthopteran

Hi Stephen,
Your original letter arrived during our transition phase to our new website format and many more letters went unanswered during that period, though in actuality, many letters always go unanswered to to the sheer volume of mail we receive. Your photos represent two different species of Orthopterans, and since the one found indoors is an immature nymph, we doubt we will be able to get you an accurate identification. The “foot sized” insect is also a Long Horned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera. We really don’t want to go any further with an identification attempt on this, but we can say that the stinger you mentioned is the ovipositor of a female. We hope one of our readers has time to research this posting and can write in with a comment. We will also see if Eric Eaton can supply any information.

Eric Eaton Replies:
Daniel:
I am reasonably confident that the unknown Turkish orthopteran is an adult female wingless katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, subfamily Saginae, and genus Saga.  I found an online checklist of Turkish Orthoptera that lists ten species of Saga in that nation, so I will leave it for others to assign a species name to this specimen.  Very interesting animals!
Eric

Letter 5 – Unknown Katydid from the Philippines

 

Can u tell me what bug this is?
Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:21 AM
I found this bug in my terrace today and i just want to know what kind of bug this is can you please help me
Gerard
Philippines

Katydid
Katydid

Hi Gerard,
This is some species of Katydid, but we need to try to research exactly what species. That swordlike ovipositor, despite looking like a stinger, is actually used by the female to lay eggs. Your specimen is obviously a female Katydid. We have never seen a Katydid that looked like this and we are very curious to find out more information about it.

yea i have never did also thats whi i sent you the pic it even has a white patch near the front. to tell u the truth the swordlike ovipositor on the bug as i was approaching it she kind of puts her head own and sticks that tail up in the air like some sort of defense.

Letter 6 – Unknown Katydid from Ecuador

 

Subject: Unknown Insect
Location: Eastern Slope of the Andes, Sumaco region, Ecuador
March 16, 2017 5:47 am
On 1st March I was in the Foothills of the Andes on the eastern slope, in the country of Ecuador. An area known as Sumaco at an altitude of 4500′. I saw this insect, a cricket? and was surprised by its colours. Can you please identify it for me and Scientific name if possible. Thanks. Moira
Signature: Moira

Unknown Katydid

Dear Moira,
With the yellow markings on its face, antennae and legs, and the blue coloration on its wings, we thought we would have an easy time identifying this gorgeous Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae would be an easy internet identification, but alas, we have had no luck.  We searched the pages of Insetologia from Brazil as well as other sources.  We will attempt to contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki and we will also enlist the assistance of our readership.

Letter 7 – Unknown Katydid from Costa Rica is Pitbull Katydid

 

unidentifieed green insect…
Hello,
Last year we found this beautiful insect in the Arenal National Park in Costa Rica. It looks like something in between a grashopper and a cicada and was about 6cm. Or is this a juvenile? Can you help me with the exact name of the species? Thank you and greetings from Belgium (we love your website!)
Erik Marrecau.

Hi Erik,
It is a Katydid, and it is not a juvenile. Only adults have fully developed wings. That is the best we can do, but perhaps one of our readers can supply an answer.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
Hi,
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: Costa Rican Pitbull katydid – Lirometopum coronatum

Letter 8 – Unknown Orange Katydid Nymph Found in Scotland

 

Subject:  Jumping bug found in my home
Geographic location of the bug:  Edinburgh, Scotland, uk
Date: 09/29/2021
Time: 01:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!
I recently was visited by this mystery bug. I have never seen anything quite like it in the uk. I submitted it to Reddit, but the closest they got was determining that it was a Katydid Nymph. We were unable to nail exactly what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Scott.

Katydid Nymph, but what species???

Dear Scott,
We agree with Reddit that this is a Katydid nymph, and like Reddit, we cannot make a conclusive identification.  We do not believe this is a species native to Scotland.  We will attempt to contact Piotr Naskrecki, renowned Katydid expert, to see if he can identify the species.  This would also be an unusual time of year to find a Katydid nymph of any species in Scotland as winter is approaching.  This is the time for adult Katydids in Scotland.

Letter 9 – Unknown Orthopteran

 

weird red bug
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
July 2, 2011 12:43 am
Found this bug in my pool just curious what kinda bug it is
Signature: Mitch Schard

Unknown Orthopteran

Hi Mitch,
We wish your photo had more detail.  This is an Orthopteran and a member of the suborder Ensifera, the Longhorned Orthopterans, but beyond that we are reluctant to draw any conclusions.   We would also add that it appears to be a male and that it might be a Camel Cricket (see BugGuide).  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can provide any information, though we doubt he is working over the long holiday weekend.

Letter 10 – Unknown Pink Katydid from Brazil

 

Pink Bug
Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
December 23, 2010 9:13 am
Hi!!! I took these pics months ago, but i have no idea of what bug this could be!!! I’m thinking it might be a pink katydid but i’m not sure at all!! I’m sorry for the quality of the images!!!
Signature: Mac

Unknown Katydid

Dear Mac,
This is a Longhorned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, and there is a really good chance that it is a Katydid in the family Tettigoniidae.  We will try to get a definitive identification from Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki.  Many typically green Katydids have pink or brown morphs and this particular specimen blending in so nicely with the pink blossom might explain how this unusual coloration may contribute to the survival of certain individuals.

Unknown Katydid

Piotr Naskrecki responds
February 9, 2011
Hi Daniel,
… The pink Brazilian katydid is a young nymph of a phaneropterine katydid, but it is too young to be identified based on the photos.
Cheers,
Piotr
Piotr Naskrecki, Ph. D.
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Letter 11 – UPDATE on Kekoa: Captive Katydid Lays Eggs

 

She’s laying eggs! – Katydid

Kekoa's sickle shaped ovipositor comes into contact with a leaf.

She’s laying eggs! – Katydid
Location: Vancouver, Washington
November 27, 2010 10:02 pm
Well, not too long after you responded to my last inquiry…My little Kekoa decided to give me a thing to be thankful for on thanksgiving!
She surprised me Nov. 23rd in the evening, around 9:30 or so, by doing something rather odd on one of her leaves. Well, at first I dismissed it and thought she was pooping again, until I saw where she was. She was on a fresh leaf, as I’d redone her cage that afternoon. She was ovipositing, or seemed to be, and sure enough I found reference photos and she seemed to be laying eggs in the new leaves I’d placed in there for her.
I’ve counted 16 eggs laid inside various leaves, and countless more that have either been discarded onto the floor of the terrarium, or into her gullet, for what I am guessing is just a source of energy.
She lays more and more each day, and I can’t wait until spring to see if any of them hatch! If they do, I’ll be sure to update. I plan to try and keep one or two of the nymphs, and follow them throughout all their stages, so provide both documentation, and fun pictures.
Signature: Sincerely, Kaetlin the bug fanatic

Kekoa in Captivity

Dear Kaetlin,
Please forgive us for not creating this post earlier.  It took some time because we wanted to crop your photos and make them web ready.  Your account of Kekoa in captivity and laying eggs is a beautiful document.  Your new email just arrived today, jogging our collective memories about this email which was buried in the In Box.
Kekoa, the
Scudderia species, is quite graceful when she is twisting her abdomen so that her sickle shaped ovipositor would come into contact with the leaf.  We cannot find your response that you were sad that Kekoa’s jumping legs would not grow back.  We will post your egg photos, which just arrived while we were working, in the near future.

Kekoa Lays Eggs

Letter 12 – Wart Biter from Italy

 

insect identification help!
Dear Insect Expert-
A friend and I were hiking in northern Italy – Lake Como area. We came across the attached insect and we have a bit of a bet going on what it is. Could you help us to identify it. As well, could you let us know if it would sting a human? Thanks, in advance, for any help in identifying this. Regards,
Angela & Nancy

Hi Angela and Nancy,
This is a Shield-Backed Katydid in the Orthoptera Subfamily Tettigoniinae. It is a female as evidenced by the ovipositor that you mistook for a stinger. She will not sting or otherwise harm a human physically, though some species get plentiful enough to do crop damage, like the Mormon Cricket from Utah and vicinity. BugGuide says a common name in Europe is Wart Biter.

Update: (07/03/2008) Katydid IDs from Piotr Naskrecki
Hi,
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: Italian saddle-backed katydid – Ephippigera sp.

Letter 13 – Well Camouflaged Shieldbacked Katydid from Greece

 

Subject: Green bug!
Location: Greece
August 5, 2014 3:17 pm
Can you identify this bug?
Thank you.
Signature: Helen

Shieldbacked Katydid
Shieldbacked Katydid

Hi Helen,
This appears to be a very well camouflaged Shieldbacked Katydid.  It also appears to be missing one of its jumping legs.

Letter 14 – Western Bush Katydid

 

Subject:  Colorful red legged grasshopper/katydid
Geographic location of the bug:  Ivans, UT
Date: 12/31/2018
Time: 10:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We took this pic 9/23/2017 in Ivans, Utah (aka St. George, Utah)
It stayed long enough for me to take a picture but flew off right after. Tried to find anything similar but to no avail.
Never seen anything like this before! Absolutely stunning!!
How you want your letter signed:  Megan Silcox

Western Bush Katydid

Dear Megan,
Our editorial staff has returned to our home office and despite the holiday, we decided to make a new posting, so your identification request is our first of the New Year.  This is a Western Bush Katydid in the genus
Insara, and in our opinion, it most resembles the Creosote Bush Katydid, Insara covilleae, which is pictured on BugGuide, though BugGuide does not report that species for Utah.  The related Elegant Bush Katydid, Insara elegans, is reported from Utah on BugGuide, but its markings appear different.  We are confident with our genus identification but would prefer that a true expert weigh in on the species.  Happy New Year.

Letter 15 – Yellow Katydid possibly Oblong Winged Katydid

 

yellow katydid
Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 3:21 PM
Hi!
My brother found this katydid in our backyard in Central Oklahoma this summer. I looked on your site and I think this might be an oblong winged katydid, but I haven’t seen a yellow one before. I love your site. Thanks for everything you guys do.
Josh Kouri

Katydid
Katydid

Hi Josh,
Sadly, your photos don’t show the tips of the wings. We are not confident to say for certain that this is an Oblong Winged Katydid, Amblycorypha oblongifolia, but since we have already contacted a Katydid expert, Piotr Naskrecki, regarding a Costa Rican submission, perhaps he can properly identify this yellow specimen as well.

Katydid
Katydid

Wow, thanks for the quick response! Here’s the only other picture I have of
the katydid– I hope it helps. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
Josh Kouri

Oblong Winged Katydid:  Yellow Version, we think
Oblong Winged Katydid: Yellow Version, we think

Thanks for the new photo Josh. To our inexperienced eyes, we now agree that this is probably an Oblong Winged Katydid, but we still hope to get a confirmation from Piotr Naskrecki.

Hi Daniel,
The yellow Amblycorypha that just appeared on the website cannot be
positively identified from the photos. There are at least 3 species in
Oklahoma that have a very similar appearance: A. hausteca, A. longinicta,
and A. oblongifolia. It is probably the last one, but without looking at the
details of the male stridulatory organs and cerci I cannot be sure.
Cheers,
Piotr

Reader Emails

100505

Reader Emails

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 – Recently Eclosed Katydid

 

Subject:  Green Leaf Wing Insect?
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Illinois
Date: 08/13/2022
Time: 09:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! My mom found this insect in her yard in central Illinois. I can’t seem to find out what it is. Its wings don’t look fully formed. Any idea?
How you want your letter signed:  Aaron

Recently Eclosed Katydid
 
Hello, Aaron. I apologize, but we had a glitch with submissions the other day. Would you mind responding to this with your photos attached so that the Bugman can assist you?
Thanks,
Daniel (The Webmaster)
 
No problem! Photos are attached. After submitting it, my grandfather identified it as a katydid. This came across my mind earlier, but it didn’t look like other katydids when I googled them. I think the open wings were throwing me off. Still would like to get the Bugman’s input though. Thanks! 
Aaron
 
Dear Aaron,
Thanks for your patience during our period of transition.  Your grandfather is correct that this is a Katydid, but we can try to clarify some of your doubts.  This is a recently metamorphosed Katydid that recently underwent a final molt, and the wings have not yet fully expanded and hardened, hence the unfamiliar appearance.  The lack of an ovipositor indicates this is a male Katydid and we believe based on images posted to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources site that it is a Greater Angle Winged Katydid.

 

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Katydid

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • I am glad you posted this picture, when looking up in the trees last week , saw something bright yellow and thought what is that, and now I know. Never seen a yellow Katydid before.

    Reply
  • does the pitbull katydid have the normal insect compound eye? in the photo it looks more like a single lens type eye.

    Reply
  • I am currently in Turkey and photographed the same Orthopteran stalking and the eating a large hawk moth. It’s limbs seamed very well adapted to the task, is this it’s usual method of feeding?

    Reply
    • There are some predatory Katydids, and this might be one. Capturing a healthy Hawkmoth sounds like some feat, and we suspect the moth was either dying or attacked while roosting.

      Reply
  • Moira Gardner
    April 24, 2017 12:36 pm

    Thanks for trying. I was hoping that Piotr Naskrecki would get back to you, but he has not.

    Reply
  • I found an orangish-yellow bug that looked like a katydid. He was literally hanging out in my living room on the curtain.

    Reply

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