Little katydid nymphs

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Scudderia nymph, probably S. furcata or S. septentrionalis. These little katydid nymphs with the distinctively banded antennae are commonly reported throughout the U.S. (Kennebunk, ME)

Much of the northeast is enjoying some lovely weather nowadays, and with good weather inevitably comes some equally lovely insects. Most of my favorites, the singing insects, will not mature until later in July and August, however. There are a few rebel grasshoppers and one cricket that overwinter as nymphs and are out calling right now, but for the most part the animal chorus in the northeast is composed of birds at this time of year. One can find a lot of Orthopterans at this time of year, although you will have to set your sights low and look for creatures more leafhopper-sized. Grasshopper and cricket nymphs are abundant in the meadows, and katydid nymphs are beginning to show themselves. I have been fortunate to find four rather different katydid youngsters during the past few weeks, all quite by accident. On a nice warm, sunny day, armed with a sweep net, you could easily find these and several more species in fields and forest edges.

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A nymph of the Slender Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus fasciatus fasciatus). Most meadow katydid nymphs look very similar. All have extremely long antennae!

The meadow katydids and coneheads tend to inhabit tall grassy meadows, whereas the Meconema are usually found in woods. Scudderia nymphs can be found almost everywhere, including suburban gardens, but tend to be the most common in edge zones between field and forest. All can be found throughout the northeast.

I’ll probably be writing posts about all these species individually in the future; this is just a preview of things to come.

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Nymph of the Drumming Katydid (Meconema thalassinum). A European introduction that is more of a novelty species than an invasive. It feeds on aphids and is found in woodlands.

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