by Carl Strang
Yesterday I mentioned one hazard that limits the number of katydids that achieve reproductive maturity. Gwynne referred to another danger, this one a group of wasps that specialize on katydids as food for their young. This caught my attention, as two members of genus Sphex have been abundant at Mayslake Forest Preserve in recent years.
Each female wasp needs more than one katydid for each egg she lays in her burrow. That can add up to a significant impact on a katydid community. Being aware of such ecological factors enriches our understanding of the local abundance and distribution of singing insects.