by Carl Strang
One of the projects in my singing insects study is tracing the boundaries of species ranges, and following how these are shifting in cases where they are expanding, usually northward. Two of the species I have been pursuing in recent days are the long-spurred meadow katydid and the Nebraska conehead. Several years ago I found a small population of long-spurred meadow katydids at south Blackwell Forest Preserve in DuPage County.
This little population is the northernmost I have found in DuPage County, and a recent search found none farther north. The similar situation in Cook County is a long established population at the Brookfield Zoo. My recent investigation there found one long-spurred meadow katydid a little more than two miles farther north, but none beyond that.
This year I found a new north for Nebraska coneheads, at the Carl R. Hansen Woods in northern Cook County.
A drive along rural roads north of that preserve failed to turn up an additional location.
These are two species for which, so far, there are no indications of expanding ranges in the Chicago region.