Those green bugs that look like leaves are called true katydids. Here are some photos of this wonderful green insect. Katydids enjoy all the leafy plants in our front yard. I was so close to this unique green bug that I could see its mouth and eyes moving!
The British often call these leaf insects bush crickets. Katydids or bush crickets are in the family Tettigoniidae. They are not grasshoppers, katydids are related to crickets. Grasshoppers have shorter antennae while family member tettigoniids have very long antennae.
Katydids, True Katydids or Northern Katydids are insects that really do not like to fly! To avoid danger they may leap out of a tree and parachute to the ground. Katydids will walk to a vertical surface and start climbing.
The most common color of katydids is leaf green. As a matter of fact, this bug is a master at camouflage with veins on its wings that look just like leaves. Katydids eat flowers, stems and leaves of plants. Some species will even eat other insects.
Many species of katydids are commonly found throughout the southern part of the United States. These bush crickets are most active at night.
True Katydid species come in a variety of sizes from 1 to 4 inches. Their antennae can be two times the length of their body.
Male and female katydid sounds are made by rubbing their wings together to produce a song that is used as part of the courtship. To me it sounds a bit like your fingernails moving on a comb.
Interesting fact: The Katydid’s hearing organ, tympana, ears, are on their front legs.
click on the short youtube video to hear the sounds of the katydid bugs
The life cycle of the katydid goes through three stages of development: egg, nymph and adult. The katydid egg is laid in the fall and hatches in the spring.
It will hatch as a nymph. The katydid nymph looks like the adult but without wings. It will shed its skin several times. The lifespan of the katydid is about 1 year.
You may be the lucky few who get to see the rare pink katydid. The lack of dark pigment, melanin, is the major difference between the pink and the green katydids.
Melanin, is the same pigment that makes a panther black. Like the pink katydid, would the lack of pigment make it a pink panther? No wonder in the pink panther cartoon he was bad at hiding with no camouflage. :)