Those green bugs that look like leaves are called true katydids. Katydids enjoy all the leafy plants in our front yard. We were so close to this wondrous green bug that we observed 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 are commonly found throughout the southern part of the United States. These bush crickets, katydids 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. It sounds a bit like your fingernails moving across 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:
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 as it becomes an adult. 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 similar to a pink panther? No wonder The Pink Panther was bad at hiding; he had no camouflage!