08 August 2009

Tindale's Shieldback Katydid - Oligodectoides tindalei

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Tindale's Shieldback Katydid - Oligodectoides tindalei

Oligodectoides tindalei is the only species in the Oligodectoides genus from the large Tettigonioidea family. It occurs across all southern States except Tasmania, which may be due to it being very cold sensitive. Tindale's Shieldback Katydid is one of the smallest katydids and can be very common in mallee and heath environments, particularly where the lower story vegetation is made up of grasses and dry-land short stemmed sedges.

Around Esperance it is one of the small grasshopper like insects a little more than 1 cm (1/2") in head/body length, but getting a close look is almost impossible without a capture net, for those long legs make them excellent jumpers and being small too, very difficult to locate again once they have taken off. The male above was obviously a little disorientated being discovered at night in late March when many of his fellows are beginning to die off due to cooler night-time temperatures.

My thanks to Dr David Rentz for identification.