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Short-wing Katydid

Dichopetala brevihastata

a green and white marked katydid, Dichopetala brevihastata, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed in Madera Canyon, Sta. Rita Mountains, Arizona, USA. 10 Sept 2010. This is a female with a serrated ovipositor at the posterior of the abdomen.

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Katydids are among the insects that sing by stridulating; in this case the pegs on one wing are dragged across a raised ridge on the other. In most species, including this one, only the males can sing. The posterior of this wingless female is equipped with a sharp ovipositor. To deposit eggs she will insert it into rotting wood or other material and a long slender egg will be pushed out between the two valves.

Katydids are herbivorous and feed mostly at night when hunting birds are not a threat. During the day their color and pattern helps them hide; notice how the white line intersects the eye thus obscuring it. If need be, they can jump in an instant and can also bite down hard with their mandibles if attacked.

Tettigoniidae -- Katydid Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 September 2013