Eastern Shieldbacks

Two Eastern Shieldbacks (Atlanticus sp.) were spotted along the Hike-Bike Trail as I was walking out of Huntley Meadows Park. Eastern Shieldbacks are a type of Katydid (Family Tettigoniidae).

Male

This individual is a male. Notice the pair of cerci (sing. cercus) at the tip of his abdomen. Cerci are anatomical structures that are familiar to experienced odonate hunters like me.

Female

The following individual is a female, as indicated by the long ovipositor that extends from the tip of her abdomen.

An Eastern Shieldback (Atlanticus sp.) spotted along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

24 JUN 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Eastern Shieldback (female)

Notice the female has two cerci and an ovipositor.

An Eastern Shieldback (Atlanticus sp.) spotted along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

24 JUN 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Eastern Shieldback (female)

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Arthur V. Evans, a member of the BugGuide Facebook group, for identifying these specimens. Mr. Evans speculates the species of Eastern Shieldback featured in this post could be Protean Shieldback (Atlanticus testaceus).

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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