What Did Katy Do?

The call of Katydids is one of those night-time noises that can get lost amongst the frogs and the crickets. They tend to hang out high in the trees, so you are more likely to hear them than see them.

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They rub their forewings together to “sing” their mating call to each other. Their call sounds like a clicking or tapping as though they are saying “Katydid Katydidn’t” and is quite loud. They listen to each other through slit-like openings on the front legs. You can see these just below what looks like the knee.

They like oak, maple and beech trees, so I guess we have many more than we have actually seen. Finding this one on the deck took me by surprise. It was not a great place for it to sit and be camouflaged. Thankfully it didn’t hang around too long and get eaten, just long enough to pose for photos!

Greater Angle-winged Katydids lay their eggs on twigs in a single row, with each egg slightly overlapping the one beneath. They are laid towards the end of summer and the mother will die in the first fall frost. The eggs are flat and look a little like seeds. When the nymphs hatch they don’t have wings and shed their skin as they grow, only developing their wings as adults.

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Katydid nymphs (juveniles) have spots of black on them that disappear when they mature. This one is beyond the nymph stage, but still has a few black spots. I am not sure if these are significant, but most photographs I have seen show the Katydids completely green.


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