Now the nights are ticking with katydids. We have several species in the city: check out the results of the 2009 Cricket Crawl, which listened for crickets and katydids (along with grasshoppers, these insects are all in the Orthoptera order). The clicks, tzips, and “ka-ty-did she did she didn’t” of the night will last into September. This katydid was a late visitor to the Back 40 one October. I think it’s the Fork-tailed katydid, Scudderia furcata. Crickets and katydids make noise — stridulation — by rubbing a ridge-like scraper on the base of the right forewing against a file — a set of tiny pegs — at the base of the left forewing. A smooth membrane on the wings amplifies the sound. They do it for the usual reasons: marking territory and telling others of their kind where they are: “Mate with me, mate with me, mate with me.”

7 Responses to “Katydids”

  1. 1 Traci August 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    i just read about how the Spotted Katydid in Australia are versatile killer mimics. They make the call of the female cicada, luring males cicadas to their deaths.

    “The spotted katydids are even more amazing in that they can mimic the female calls of many different species of cicadas. Katydids were able to fool male cicadas of twenty-two out of twenty-six different species tested!”


  2. 3 Patricia celinko October 24, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I live in matamoras PA it’s October 24th 2016 and I had a katydid on my windshield for over 20 miles! He hung on!!! Felt terrible and couldn’t knock him off with my wipers! It’s 50° here….I thought these were summer bugs??! Is he going to die

    • 4 mthew October 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Some insects will last quite a while into the fall as long as it’s not too cold, for instance the crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids. 50 sounds cold to me, though. Might just be an unusually late one. And as to the dying part, I think so. Most insect adults last just a season, although some overwinter as adults (as opposed to larval or egg stages the more typical way insects species survive year after year).

  1. 1 Interior Katydid « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on October 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm
  2. 2 Katydids | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on September 4, 2014 at 7:01 am
  3. 3 Katydid Nights | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on August 7, 2015 at 7:02 am

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