Handsome Meadow Katydids (mating pair)

Handsome Meadow Katydids (mating pair)

The preceding photograph shows a mating pair of Handsome Meadow Katydids (Orchelimum pulchellum) spotted during a a photowalk along the boardwalk in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park on 10 September 2014.

Can you tell which member of the mating pair is the male and which one is the female? Hint: There is at least one obvious difference between the two individuals.

Handsome Meadow Katydid (female)

Look closely at the preceding photo, taken at Huntley Meadows on 12 September 2014. Did you notice the long, curved, reddish-colored structure extending from the posterior end of the abdomen? It’s an ovipositor that female katydids …

… use to insert eggs into hiding places (which can be in crevices on plants or even inside plant tissues). Source Credit: Matt Pelikan, BugGuide group on Facebook.

The following photo was shot at Huntley Meadows on 10 September 2014. This individual is a male, as indicated by the absence of an ovipositor.

The wings pretty much obscure the most visible male parts, but these also have distinctive shapes in katydids and are useful for ID. Source Credit: Matt Pelikan, BugGuide group on Facebook.

Handsome Meadow Katydid (male)

Coming full circle to the mating pair of Handsome Meadow Katydids shown in the first photo, the female is on top and the male is on the bottom.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Handsome Meadow Katydids (mating pair)”

  1. naturesnippets Says:

    They could be a color chart.

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