Friday, September 14, 2012

Sleeping with his eyes open

This astonishingly green insect was resting on the underside of a cap board on a wall yesterday. It didn't even twitch an antenna as I clambered up the wall and hung there trying to get close enough for a photo.


The board is a 4x6, and the critter, from antenna tip to rear toe, stretched across about half of it.

From right up at his level. Risking my neck.

Photo cropped and flipped, to show his eyes and cute feet.

There were no insects like this in my books. Next stop, BugGuide. Where I tentatively identify it as a tree cricket.* I'll send it in to them in the morning.

*I didn't even know there was such a beast!

Update: it's a Drumming katydid, Meconema thallasinum.

Range ... Southern New England and British Columbia. See also BugGuide range map for an indication of the expansion of the range into neighboring states.
Remarks ... According to the Singing Insects of North Americs website, the subfamily of Meconematinae is represented in the US by only one species, M. thalassinum, which has been introduced from Europe. (BugGuide)
and ...

The Drumming Katydid or the Oak Bush Cricket, as it is known in Great Britain, is an immigrant to British Columbia. This small green bush cricket lives across the Lower Mainland and in the Victoria region. It inhabits deciduous shrubs and trees and comes out at night to feed on leaves and occasionally on other insects.
The name Drumming Katydid comes from the noise the male insects make by tapping their legs on leaf surfaces, creating a drumming sound that can be heard up to three or four metres away.
Invasion History
The Drumming Katydid arrived on the east coast of North America around 1957 and has since become established in the northeast United States and in Ontario. It appeared in BC in 1991 near Vancouver, and since then, it has become fully established in the Lower Mainland. (Alien species, Royal BC Museum)


  1. Anonymous5:53 am

    I think, instead, you have a katydid.

  2. Lovely photos! Looks katydid-ish to me as well.

  3. Yes, I'm thinking katydid, too, tho' you probably know that. Esp. per bugguide's info re: their suborder Encifera:
    "hind femora usually only somewhat enlarged (compare large femora of Caelifera)"

    Funny, they articulated what my brain just picked up as a katydid gestalt. I heart bugguide!

    LOVELY photographs! And glad you survived it.

  4. Yellow boots!

    If it is a Katydid - I've never met one, only heard about them in the book 'What Katy Did'.

  5. I thought katydid too. Such a beautiful green colour. - Margy

  6. I'm confused. On BugGuide, the tree crickets are a subset of katydids. However, the crickets (not necessarily tree crickets) have a needle-like ovipositor, which this insect doesn't have.

    Anyhow, I haven't sent it in to BugGuide yet, because I was down sick today. Tomorrow, we'll see what they say.

  7. It's a drumming katydid. I've updated the post with some info on the species.


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!