Tag Archives: katydid

Quiz answers and bug nerd shout outs

14 Aug

So what were your answers?

A.

1.

B.

2.

C.

3.

D.

4.

E.

5.

F.

6.

G.

7.

H.

8,

The answers are as follows:

1. F, 2. H, 3. B, 4. G, 5. A, 6. E, 7. C, 8. D

1. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

2. Ladybug (beetle) larvae

3. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

4. Mountain katydid

5. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

6. Whip spider

7. Early instar of an owfly

8. Giant huntsman on my face

Okay, so maybe you were only able to get #8…I did put it in there for a freebie.  (And in case you think I’m completely crazy, you should know that the huntsman was dead…so I’m only half crazy.)

And don’t feel bad, I did not know 1-7 myself before researching them.  But that’s the fun, isn’t it?

We had a couple of people guess all of them correctly, so a special WE shout out to Marc at entomacrographic and to Drhoz.

**Be sure to click on the above links (1-8) to find out more about the featured creatures.**

(All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.)

Strange Insects — Quiz

11 Aug

Every once in a while, I’ve come across something that just baffles me. (I mean besides why they don’t put more jam in jam doughnuts.) But, without having a background in anything related to entomology, it’s sometimes a challenge to figure out what it is.  See, those experienced in the field can look at a number of things to at least narrow it down to an order.  I’m getting better at it but, as you’ll see, some are just plain confusing.  (But, if you’re a follower of the blog, these might not be that hard 😉 )

Can you guess what is what?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

Now, match these letters up to the picture you think belongs with it.

A. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

B. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

C. Early instar of an owl fly

D. Giant huntsman on my face

E. Whip spider

F. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

G. Mountain Katydid

H. Lady bug (beetle) larvae

Post your answers in the comments below or on Facebook.  Answers will be revealed in tomorrow’s post.  I will announce the person(s) that got the most correct.

*All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.**

Grasshopper or Katydid?

14 Jan

katydid

Okay, so what was your guess?  Most of you probably guessed that it was a prehistoric monster but this is actually the Spotted or Mottled Katydid.

Let’s begin by explaining the difference between grasshoppers and katydids.

First of all, both grasshoppers and katydids come from the same “order” called Orthoptera, or “straight wings”, as do crickets.   The katydid and cricket are actually more closely related because of something called ‘stridulation’.  This is what it’s called when these insects make their distinctive noise by rubbing parts of their bodies together.  Grasshoppers and locusts have a row of sharp pegs on the backs of their legs and produce their sound by rubbing these ‘combs’ together.  Katydids and crickets, however, create their sounds by rubbing their wings together.  This entire order of insects, remarkably, are able to hear the sounds from other insects (as when they are looking for a mate) through an ear — or tympanum — located just below the knee on their front leg.  Although certain kinds of grasshoppers can have their ears on the sides of their abdomen.

grasshopper

The above picture is a grasshopper (probably the biggest I’ve found) and you can clearly see the combs on the backs of the legs that they use for  stridulation.  Grasshoppers also have a slimmer body and shorter antennae.  Katydids have long antennae (sometimes longer than their body) and a more round or robust body shape that usually resembles a leaf, even down to the veins in the leaf.  (See below) Female katydids have a long, upwardly curving egg-laying structure (ovipositor) underneath the abdomen that, in my opinion, looks like a weapon or stinger of sorts.

green leaf katydid

True Katydid

All straight wings (grasshoppers, locusts, crickets and katydids) have the following features:

-Chewing mouthparts

-Ability to make sounds

-Powerful rear legs for jumping

-Long, thin or short antennae

-Metamorphosis from wingless (nymphs) to winged (adults)

As far as diet goes, grasshoppers feed mainly on grasses (herbivores) but will also eat a variety of other plants.  Katydids, however, will feed on vegetation, pollen and nectar and even other insects (omnivores).  And both serve as meals to a variety of predators…including people.  In some countries grasshoppers are fried, roasted and some are even dipped in chocolate!

Perhaps the most interesting bit of information I found while researching the above Spotted Katydid, was that at different stages of some katydid’s developement or instars (phase between two periods of molting) they actually mimick other insects in their appearance. So, while they are wingless nymphs, some may have the physical attributes of a black ant.  Katydids will go through four nymphal instars lasting about 30-40 days.

So, there’s a quick lesson on how to tell the difference between a katydid and a grasshopper.  And as always, don’t forget to send me pics of your own buggy findings and I’ll post them on the site!