July Insect Phenology

by Carl Strang

As detailed in the previous post, first flower dates were ahead of previous years by 1-1.5 weeks in July at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Insects also had been appearing early in previous months, but did this likewise continue?

In a word, yes. The 14 species I could compare between this year and last appeared a median 14 days earlier, continuing the trend (range 36 days earlier to 12 days later). The difference was only 4 days earlier than in 2010, however (15 species, range 46 days earlier to 14 days later). The largest difference was between 2012 and 2009, a median of 16.5 days earlier (14 species, range 4 to 36 days earlier). The respective differences in June were 22, 15.5 and 22 days, so there was some convergence in first appearance dates.

The black-legged meadow katydid was as representative as any species, beginning its singing 9 days earlier than in 2011, 4 days earlier than in 2010, and 18 days earlier than in 2009.

In this year of odd weather I do not know what to expect from the data for August.


  1. kerri slocum said,

    August 29, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Just found what I believe to be a katydid on my front door this evening, I have done tons of looking around, but would be extremely interested to know if it really

    • natureinquiries said,

      September 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      The katydids are a large and diverse group. Go to the Singing Insects of North America website or BugGuide, and you might be able to narrow it down. Katydids resemble grasshoppers, but have long threadlike antennas.

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