Jackpot!

by Carl Strang

I have continued to search for small meadow katydids at Mayslake Forest Preserve, and in my most recent effort I hit the jackpot. I visited some low, sedge-dominated wet areas (though with dry soil at this time of the year) at the east edge of the preserve.

In all other habitats I found around one katydid in every 2-3 sweep-net samples. Here each 25-sweep sample had several. In four samples I caught a total of 18 meadow katydids. By far the majority (13) were slender meadow katydids. There also were short-winged meadow katydids, among them this male.

At first I thought this nymph might be a straight-lanced meadow katydid, but a close look at the claspers at the end of his abdomen said otherwise.

The blunt, blade-like, slightly bent shape is that of a short-winged. I did find a couple female straight-lanced, including this one with an impressively long ovipositor.

I also picked up a couple tree crickets, both of which I think are, yet again, black-horned or Forbes’s. One was a relatively pale nymph.

The other was a more typical adult.

This experience, along with suggestions from the literature, point me toward wet, sedge dominated areas for further explorations.

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