The Katydids are those green looking insects
(often mistaken for a small grasshopper) that just love
nothing better than living in your garden. They are also
responsible for singing under the cover of night. The
Katydids belong to the order Orthoptera, along with
crickets and grasshoppers and date back some 300 million
years to the Carboniferous Period. There are over 20,000
species of Orthoptera in the world. Funny enough the
Katydids got their name from the sound made by a North
American species. They are also known as bush crickets or
long horned grasshoppers.
Katydids are more closely related to the
cricket than the grasshopper as they have long antennae,
which often exceeds their body length. They are usually
green and look very similar to their habitat. The males
(and some females) of this species have special sound
producing organs (stridulation) located on the hind angles
of their front wings which are responsible for making,
what some humans claim, sounds like "Katy did, Katy
didn't". These sharp click sounds are a form of
communication and nothing to do with "katy" !. The sound
is made by scraping their wings across their hind legs.
The Katydids have veined leaf like front wings which are
used as excellent camouflage. Some even have colored
hindwings which they can flash at enemies to scare the
living daylight out of them.
If you are green and look like a leaf the best
place to live is on a plant, don't you think?. Safe from
predators and well enough camouflaged to hunt their prey
in peace, the Katydids live on grasses and leafy
Most Katydids have eat a healthy diet of leaves, bark
and seeds with some, however, liking to chew on the
occasional snail, lizard or fellow insect.
Note to Humans
Yes, these little creature do bite and can deliver a painful
pinch if provoked.