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).
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.
The following individual is a female, as indicated by the long ovipositor that extends from the tip of her abdomen.
Notice the female has two cerci and an ovipositor.
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.
Tags: Atlanticus sp., cerci, Eastern Shieldback, Hike-Bike Trail, Huntley Meadows Park, ovipositor, wildlife photography