Katydid Nights

Since Sunday night, a katydid has been stridulating out beyond the Back 40. It’s a Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia), the one that says its own name. Once upon a time, nearly a century ago, this species was presumed extirpated from NYC, but it has clearly returned. Katydid-katydidnt & etc.

The Horticulturist remembers childhood visits to her Grandmother’s Florida in summer, when the whole house would throb with the sounds of these insects. I’ve really only heard them locally. For there are, in fact, several species of katydids here in the city. You can hear them in individual street trees as well as massing in choral frenzies in the parks. They, and the crickets, are the insects of the night. These sultry nights of August are their time of the year. Walking down Union Street from Park Slope to Cobble Hill the other night after 11 pm, I heard the Greater Angle-wing (Microcentrum rhombifolium) repeatedly. This one makes making two different sounds in street trees: a ticking I liken to a safe tumbler spinning and a periodic lisping “tzip”.

Although they are night-singers, katydids can be seen during during the day, which is when all the previous katydid appearances in this blog have occurred:
In the Back 40.
On the inside of the front door.
In a local meadow.
In another state.

1 Response to “Katydid Nights”


  1. 1 Teal Eve's August 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Saw our first one yesterday on our porch in Portland; thanks for helping identify it.


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