17 August 2009

Meadow Katydid - Conocephalus species

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Meadow Katydid - Conocephalus sp.

These katydids were originally called Longhorned Grasshoppers although they are not even closely related and actually belong to different suborders. The most obvious differences between katydids and grasshoppers are the katydids have long antennae (half to several times their body length) and the females have a long egg-laying ovipositor; whereas grasshoppers have short antennae (less than 30 segments) and the females do not possess an ovipositor.

The above Meadow Katydid is probably an undescribed species or an unusual color morph of a known one, but the actual insect (dead) is required to be certain. As I try not to interfere with wildlife I refuse to collect and kill them for any reason, therefore I must live with a certain level of ignorance if identification cannot be gained from a photograph, which to me is not a bad exchange.

The above Conocephalus species was photographed in early April, which is almost the same time of year as my record of Upolu Meadow Katydid - Conocephalus upoluensis http://esperancewildlife.blogspot.com/2009/08/upolu-meadow-katydid-conocephalus.html, size was also similar to that species.