Note: Most links leave to external sites. Howdy, BugFans. At first glance, Meadow Katydids look like small grasshoppers, but grasshoppers (family Acrididae) have antennae of a reasonable length, and katydids (family Tettigoniidae) have such long antennae (you have to back up… Read more
Howdy, BugFans, Wow! The first day of fall! Much as she loves a nice fall day, the BugLady clings to summer (maybe that’s why she keeps buying peaches even though she knows she’ll be disappointed). If you want to find… Read more
Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is a repurposed golf course north of Port Washington (WI), owned by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. It’s mainly grassland, with woods and some brushy areas, and it was designed to serve as a stopover/refueling “bed and breakfast” for migrating birds. Water hazards were turned into small ponds, more ponds were dug, and tall grass prairie plants were planted.
The BugLady hopes that you’ve been getting out on the trail and drinking in the lushness of the summer. Subjects of this summer’s survey include wasps, aphids, syrphids, and katydids.
Lately, The BugLady’s been thinking about prairies. She led a walk at Riveredge Nature Center’s excellent “Knee Deep in Prairies” celebration, and she spends a lot of quality time on the prairie because she loves its ever-changing palettes and patterns. By some estimates, the biomass of the insects on pre-settlement American prairies equaled that of the bison. Here are some pollinators and predators and plant feeders of the prairie – and the flowers they visit.
Protean Shield-backed Katydids evoke adjectives like “earthy” and “organic,” and “elemental” (along with “lunker”). This utilitarian katydid looks like it saw the dinosaurs, and maybe it did. Katydids (family Tettigoniidae, subfamily Tettigoniinae) are in the order Orthoptera (“straight wings”) (grasshoppers, crickets, et al). Orthoperans survived the meteor strike 65 million years ago; dinosaurs did not. There are 123 species in North America, and they are a mostly-Western bunch, with about 10 species in the East.
Everywhere you look, you see adult insects, young insects, and the kinds of activity that will result in them. Here are some sights from the BugLady’s walks in southeastern Wisconsin.
The BugLady would like to dedicate this episode to the late (great) Cornell Professor Richard B. Fischer (January 19, 1919 – August 7, 2005) who taught the BugLady how to sneak up on insects (no bobbing or weaving, just slow and steady and straight ahead.
Katydids are large, beautiful, green insects of grasslands, open woods and edges whose often ventriloquistic calls can be heard both day and night (brown and pink morphs also exist). Katydids are classified in the order Orthoptera (straight wings) and in the family Tettigoniidae, the Long-horned Grasshoppers and Katydids.
Roesel’s Katydid (Metrioptera roeselii) is in the Katydid family Tettigoniidae) and in the Shield-backed katydid subfamily Tettigoniinae. Shield-backed katydids are called bush-crickets in their native Europe, where, because of their penchant for biting when handled. Their habitat is generally described as un-grazed fields/field borders/road edges/etc. with taller grass (in other words, not active cropland).