Green bodies and long antenna serve as the dominant katydid (family Tettigoniidae) characteristics, although some katydids change body color to blend in with their background.
Their long antennas explains their nickname, long-horned grasshoppers.
Like cicadas and crickets, most katydid species sing. Unlike the male cicada and cricket singers, both katydid genders sing.
Their songs tend to sound like cicada songs, although they sing at night rather than copy the cicada's daytime singing pattern.
Some Katydid songs have the potential to keep their neighbors up at night. According to the University of Florida Entomology Department, "The loudest insect song in North America is produced by a coneheaded katydid. Under favorable conditions its song can be heard from as far as 500 meters."
|Additional Insect Information
Types of Insects
Most of the worlds katydid species inhabit tropical and subtropical regions. A by the numbers look at Katydids brings up approximately 250 species divided into fifty genera.
Compared to the historical accounts of damage caused by the world's grasshopper populations, katydid damage to agriculture interests might seem low. Nonetheless, katydid damage to field crops, citrus trees and residential trees can e substantial in instances of population outbreaks.
Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) comes in both a pink and green form, and it ranges throughout the United States
The picture shows a green form female with a red ovipositer and characteristic long, dark legs.
The Genus Conocephalus, known as Lesser Meadow Katydids, consists of approximately ten species found in meadows and grasslands across the United States.
As the name suggests they are smaller in size that their relatives, the Greater Meadow Katydids (Orchelimum).
The second picture, a male Slender Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus fasciatus), ranks as the widest ranging North American Conocephalus species.
The picture also highlights the insect's brown wings and top with green on the sides and below. Females have a straight ovipositor.
Shield-backed Katydids usually get descried as large, short-winged katydids with a shield-like pronotum extending over the base of the abdomen.
Females are recognized by a long, sometimes curved ovipositor, that resembles a sword.
Over one hundred and twenty different Shield-backed species have been documented in the United States, most having a very limited geographic range.
The Mormon Cricket (Anabrus simplex) might be the best known and widest ranging of the shield-acks. Its territory covers most of North American, west of the Rocky Mountains.
Shield-backed Katydids tend to be ground katydids, often active, and therefore visible, during the day. Females normally lay their eggs in the soil. Most species are at least partly carnivorous.
Short-winged Katydids, genus (Dichopetala) also known as False Katydids, because male sound patterns tend to differ from the male sound patterns of all other katydid species get grouped in a separate subfamily.
The picture shows a colorful Mountain-dwelling Short-winged Katydid. The long antennae were cropped to show more of the body and legs.
© 2010-2012 Patricia A. Michaels