- Family TETTIGONIIDAE
- This page contains pictures and information about Katydids that we found in
the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
- Members in the Tettigoniidae family include Katydids, Long-horned Grasshoppers
Crickets. Most of them are green in colour with leaf shaped wings that are
held roof-like over the body. The fore wings are relatively hard and rigid comparing
with other species in Order Orthoptera.
They have very long antenna, usually longer than
their body length. Most Species have large hind
legs for jumping.
- Many katydids are nocturnal, they rest during the
day and well camouflaged on vegetation. Most of them are plant foliage
feeders. They feed on leaves, flowers or/and seeds. A few of them are predaceous
species. Some species are omnivorous or scavengers.
- Species in family Tettigoniidae are masters of camouflage. Most of the katydids resemble plants, such as
leave, twigs, lichens or flowers. Some species nymphs resemble ants. Other species may
resemble spiders or young bugs. A few
of them are with brightly warning colours and are distasteful to predators.
- Notice the auditory organs present on fore tibia.
- Adults stridulate using fore wings. The common name "Katydid" is after a species whose
make sound likes "Katy-did".
They produce the sound by file on left wing and scraper on right wing. Female of
some species will answer the males by different stridulation mechanisms. Some
species sing in the frequency that too high for human to hear. They have auditory organs
(tympanum) that is located at the base of the front tibia.
- Katydid's eggs, length 5mm
- Most species females have sword-like ovipositor and
lay eggs by cut slits and attach onto leaves and stems. Some may laid eggs
under barks or on ground. Many species that males produce large spermathecae
when courtshipping which females will eat.
nymph, body length 10mm
- Nymphs are usually looked quite different from the adults. This allow them to live
in different habitats and conditions. Some species the nymphs resemble ants to
avoid being eaten. Most adults camouflage as leaves.
- We record the life cycle of the Gum Leaf Katydid,
details please click on the link.
- We found quite a number of different Katydid species in Brisbane. They
are grouped into the followings subfamilies.
- Subfamily Conocephalinae - Meadow Katydids
- The Meadow katydids in Subfamily Conocephalinae are from small to medium
in size with slender body. They are usually found on grasses and sedges. Males chorus
loudly at evening or afternoon if overcast days. Their loud buzzing
calls are common in grasslands.
- Subfamily Meconematine
- The katydids in this family are usually small and greenish. They are
predator to other small insects. We only found one species in this
- The first species called "katydid", Pterophylla
camellifolia, was in this subfamily. This is why this subfamily
called True Katydids. They can be found in tropical regions. We only found
one species in this subfamily.
- Subfamily Phaneropterinae - Bush Katydids
- Phaneropterinae is the largest subfamily of Tettigoniidae. They can
be found in different kinds of habitats. Most of them feed on a large
variety of plants. Most of them are active at night although a few are
active during the day. Nymphs are usually looked very different from their
parents. Most nymphs take the advantages of mimicking other insects to avoid
predators. Most adults, however, are green in colour and camouflage as leaf.
- There are some more Katydids yet to be identified in this page.
- 1. Insects
of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University
Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p382.
- 2. Grasshopper
Country - the Abundant Orthopteroid Insects of Australia, D Rentz,
UNSW Press, 1996.
- 3. Northern
Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
- 4. A Guide to the Katydids of Australia - David Rentz, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2010.
- 5. Family
- Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008.
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