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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Katydid WHAT?!?!
Josh 201604 KWP
joshdavis
In our house over the weekend, we have found one of these:



Erica said this morning, there was another one (or maybe the same) in the livingroom and it made a locust sort of sound, so it reminded me to look it up.

It looks alot like a grasshopper in it's head and somewhat in it's body. It's a leaf-mimic Katydid as a general description. In searching, well, locusts and Katydids are both grasshoppers.
So I looked up cicadas,

and found that they are not actually locusts. Cicadas are Order Homoptera, family Cicadidae, which come every 13-17 years and as a kid I would collect their molted shells, but which are not truly locusts, and are more related to aphids and treehoppers.

Locusts are polymorphic depending on population density.

Katydids are grasshoppers, but vary greatly in structure. The taxonomy for katydids is:

Phylum : Arthropoda
Sub-phylum : Mandibulata
Super-class : Hexapoda
class : Insecta
order : Orthoptera
Sub-Order: Ensifera
Family : Tettigoniidae

Since the one in the livingroom graced Erica with it's song, and only males sing, that means it is a male. I don't know if it's the same one as the one we found in the bathroom, or where they came from. Their eggs can pause development during unfavorable climate, though there are some 6 different nymph stages between larvae and adult. Maybe they were imported when someone moved. I've never seen one of these before. :)

There are many different types of leaf imitator katydids, including:

Garden variety round-winged


One that looks like a decayed dead leaf.


One that looks the same as ours, but more brown edges (age?)


"Caedicias simplex" may be a general classification. I see it used for both round wing and pointed wing. Genus Hexacentrus and Genus Terpandrus photo resources had some near matches, but I think those were wrong, because both of those are in Sub-Family Listroscelidinae which are "spiny predator katydids" so I think some of the photo resources were wrong.

At first I thought it might be Terpandrus or Hexacentrus. I see alot of similar ones, but none exactly the same. Also, this guy was very slow and didn't freak out when we picked him up or taunted him with a twig. Only when I touched his antenna with twigs did he move with any determination, and then it was towards the twig. :) His legs were small, so he wasn't a hopper, rather he was a walker. I don't know if that's a phase or a species differentiation.

According to a taxonomy map by Gorochov (1988), with the suggested relationships for Austrosaginae and Zaprochilinae from Rentz (1993) and for the Lipotactinae from Ingrisch (1995), this guy belongs to the sub-family Phaneropterinae (Leafe and Broad-Winged Katydids) or Pseudophyllinae (False Leafe Katydids).

If Phaneropterinae subfamily, I'd guess Genus Amblycorypha, "Round-headed katydids" of either the uhleri group or the oblongifolia group; however, all of these guys have much larger legs than our specimine. Maybe that's a life-cycle thing and not a species thing.

Genus microcentrum info wasn't available; however, it did refer to the Phaneropterinae "false katydids". There also seems to be alot of change and inconsistancy in katydid taxonomy at this time.

The Gum Leaf Katydid page in the bibliography has a couple of phases that look the same as ours. It's also called the simplex. It has alot more brown than ours, but I don't know if that's an age thing or actually a difference. That guy's information seems a little suspect to me. Most of the Aussie pages have great pictures, but they all conflict eachother taxonomologically.

I couldn't remember where I got the graphic that looks almost exactly like ours. ACK!

He should be a leaf-eater and not a carnivore, since the carnivores are more spiky.

Anyway, I've spent enough time trying to identify this bugger.

Downloaded pages
My photos
Permanent copy


Partial Bibliography
Locust
Cicada
Grasshopper
Katydid
Caedicia simplex - Walker
Amazon Adventure Katydids
Gum Leaf Katydid
poorly written but many good pictures
Taxonomy lookup
Leaf Mimic Gallery
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it still completely freaks me out to the core
that bugs can evolve to look like leaves, even down to the veins in the leaves, be dead or alive looking, or even munched on! How did it happen!?!

O__o

-=wawa=-

A) Genetic engineering
B) chance
C) high periods of mutation and natural selection

Some of the katydids are magenta, but same shape (saw a photo). I would call that an "oops" :)

I'm sure someone somewhere will say "it's God's will" and that's where I point to Genetic Engineering because if there is a God in the Christian sense, then he would be THE master of genetic engineering.

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