What insect looks like a green leaf? – true katydids – leaf bug images

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!

green leaf bug

Green bug that looks like a leaf

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.

katydid leaf bug

green bug that looks like a leaf

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.


katydid green grasshopper like bug

Many species of katydids are commonly found throughout the southern part of the United States. These bush crickets are most active at night.

green katydid

green leaf insect – katydid

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.


True Katydid also called Bush Cricket, Northern Katydid

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.

green and pink katydid insects

true katydids are bugs that look like leaves

Interesting fact:  The Katydid’s hearing organ, tympana, ears, are on their front legs.


katydids look like a leaf insect

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.

katydid nymph

katydid nymph, baby

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.

young katydid baby

young katydid nymph

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.

pink katydid

rare pink katydid insect

pink and green leaf bugs

Pink Katydid with a green katydid

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. :)