Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28: Katydid

We left the porch light on when we went out last night, and upon our return, discovered dozens of  moths, flies, and other winged creatures flitting around our front door. Among them, clinging to the screen, was one leaf-green katydid, a beautiful, graceful insect. We tried to catch it so that I could get a closer look, but it jumped away into the jungle of lilies alongside the porch. The voice of the katydid is a familiar part of the summer twilight insect chorus--I've definitely heard many more than I've seen. 

Here's a katydid that looks very similar to last night's visitor, albeit a species from India pretending to be a leaf:
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Vishalsh521)
I remember feeling quite envious when my best friend Katy, who lived across the street from me when I was five, told me that there was an insect named after her--the katydid--which even sang her name. But then I realized it was OK because one of my mother's childhood nicknames for me was Cricket, so I had an "insect name" too. Now I learn, while looking for a photo of a katydid, that katydids, though they look a lot like grasshoppers, are most closely related to crickets and are called bush crickets in Great Britain. If only I'd known that at age five; it might have sparked a career in entomology. (I also learned that katydid species as a group are referred to as tettigoniids. Try to use that word in a sentence today!)

Under the porch light
green katydid shines brightly
amid dusty moths.

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