Female Gladiator

by Carl Strang

Last week at Blackwell Forest Preserve, the Roger Raccoon Club hiked to our usual place for tree-climbing instruction. Along the way the kids somewhat nervously were inquiring about buzzing in the tall grass beside the trail. I assured them that the source was not an abundance of rattlesnakes, but rather gladiator meadow katydids. I searched for one to show them, and the first one I found proved to be a female. I had no photos of a female of this species, and took advantage of the opportunity.

Gladiator meadow katydid, female

This species is unique among our northeast Illinois Orchelimum in the shape of its ovipositor.

Though the bottom edge of the ovipositor is curved, as is true for all females of this genus, the top edge is unique in being ruler-straight.

Of course, the fact that there is little or no overlap between the gladiator’s early season and those of other species also helps.



  1. nickonnature said,

    July 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Cool! I love gladiators and have been hearing them in our fields for about two or three weeks now. Fantastic though that the kids get to experience so much nature firsthand: there’s definitely no better way to loarn than by experience!

  2. midwestnaturalist said,

    July 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I’ve been viewing your blog for a while and love what you bring to reader’s attention. Thanks for the information on insects – they tend to be my area of weakness. Great to see you experiencing nature with young people as well.

    • natureinquiries said,

      July 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

      Thanks, Jeff,
      I also hope that students find the blog, and try not to get overly technical for that reason.

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