Long-spurred Meadow Katydid

by Carl Strang

Recently I spent a day at the Brookfield Zoo, which remains to this point the only place where I have found long-spurred meadow katydids in northeast Illinois.

Long-spurred 5b

The above photo is inverted; the insect was clinging to the underside of a cedar twig. This is the first individual I found two years ago. I’d noticed its song as that of a meadow katydid, but unlike other species I’d encountered. The buzz has a loose rattling quality, and the ticks that precede the buzz sound like elements of the buzz rather than the sharper ticks produced by other meadow katydids. The overall effect is that the song sounds like an accelerating buzz. I spent some time with that first individual, and managed to get some photos of his cerci.

Long-spurred 1b

The cerci are the yellow structures at the tip of his abdomen. The long inward-projecting forks of the cerci give the species its name. References indicate that long-spurred meadow katydids like cedars, but so far I have not found them in DuPage County. On my recent zoo visit I found a couple individuals singing not from cedars but from herbaceous flowerbeds. I haven’t given up on them, and continue to seek them wherever there are cedars.


1 Comment

  1. September 13, 2010 at 6:03 am

    […] certainly a new species for my county list, I collected him. To my surprise he proved to be a long-spurred meadow katydid. Previously I had found these singing at Brookfield Zoo in Cook County, and on this most recent […]

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