ID this bug please? [pic]

prairiemoon2 z6 MAAugust 28, 2010

I saw this fellow on a shrub at night this summer and then I saw him again during the day on a Sedum last week. I posted a photo the first time on another forum, and someone told me they thought it was a Katydid. I got a better photo this time and I compared it to photos online and I'm not sure if it is a Katydid or a plain ole Grasshopper. Anyone able to identify it?


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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Here's a second photo......

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:50PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)


    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:52PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks! So, this is a beneficial bug to have? Or is it a pest?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:37PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Katydids are not considered beneficial, be any means, other than by the birds and other animals that eat them. They are plant eaters. However, in most instances, the damage caused by these pretty insects is considered very minor.

They are not welcome visitors to orchards, I can tell you that!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 11:38PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

They are not welcome in my flower garden either. They love my salvia and coleus and I think they're eating my giant celosia leaves too. They get a good flicking if they stay put long enough. They jump sideways and I don't think they eat much after that. lol

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thank you both very much. I hadn't been able to find any cautions about the insect. I've seen this bug for the first time this year. I read somewhere that they ate cicadas. That seems so hard to believe. Cicadas are bigger than they are. Plus if they eat foliage, why would they do both. At any rate, I've only seen one bug twice all summer. I didn't want to get rid of it, if it were going to eat other bad bugs. I did read somewhere that bats like to eat them. My DH likes bats so I'm still not decided whether to get rid of them before they start laying eggs before winter. Well, I guess next time I see it, I will have to decide.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:35AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

OP said "I read somewhere that they ate cicadas."

Please don't believe everything you read! :>)

Don't know about the bats, tho.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks jean, I looked on Wikepedia and see that birds and parasitic wasps are predators of cicadas. And I found this quote on National Geographic...

"EverythingÂbirds, rodents, small mammals, even snakes, lizards, and fish will feed heavily on cicadas when they are out," said Keith Clay, a biologist and periodical-cicada expert at Indiana University in Bloomington.

And here is what Wikepedia had to say about Katydids....

"The diet of tettigoniids includes leaves, flowers, bark, and seeds, but many species are exclusively predatory, feeding on other insects, snails or even small vertebrates such as snakes and lizards. Some are also considered pests by commercial crop growers and are sprayed to limit growth. Large tettigoniids can inflict a painful bite or pinch if handled but seldom break the skin."

I do find it interesting that the Katydid was sitting on a Sedum during the day and I did not see any damage to the Sedum, but a flower bud on a rose right next to it, was half eaten the next day. I had a lot of half eaten flower buds on roses in the spring, so I am going to have to watch to see if that is what is doing it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:40AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

We don't have any predatory katydids in North America. I wouldn't doubt that comment about the painful bite. Having had my fair share of such bites from a WIDE assortment of insects, I pretty much expect that they will all bite if given half a chance. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

rhizo, It must be over thirty years since I've been bitten by more than a mosquito. I guess I'm curious to a point and from a distance. [g]

Okay, I found this about Bats....

Katydids and Bats

Crickets are not the only animals that inadvertently signal to another species. A close cousin of the field cricket, the greener, longer-legged katydid, faces a similar challenge. Instead of attracting the female he bargained for when he launched into full voice, a male katydid may find himself becoming a meal for a bat. A repetitive staccato trill made up of many frequencies proves easy to locate, no matter what species produces it. This is, of course, the purpose of the male katydidÂs trill. But in bat-infested Panama, katydids change their tune. They sing a higher-pitched song, with a narrower frequency range, much harder to locate. They also sing a lot less. In an experimental situation, loud, enthusiastic katydids caged with hungry bats survived less than a minute. Shyer, quieter males lasted more than half an hour before becoming bat bait.

But if males must remain quiet to survive, how can they attract Ms. Right? A quiet, infrequent trill can bring a female into the vicinity, perhaps to the same plant. The quieter males then complete their attractive act with a silent dance so enthusiastic they shake the leaf theyÂre standing on. Females detect the dance through the plant, locating the source of both the beautiful voice and the swiveling hips.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 7:01AM
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