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Discover Nature: Katydids

Missouri Department of Conservation

If you’ve stepped out to enjoy the night air lately, you’ve likely noticed a loud newcomer to the chorus of night sounds.  This week on Discover Nature, we’ll shine some light on the Northern True Katydid.

Members of the grasshopper family, katydids have long, slender legs, large, veined wings, and especially long antennae which have earned them the nickname, “Long-horned grasshopper.”

Their wings resemble green leaves, although a genetic mutation sometimes causes them to appear bright pink. By rubbing their wings together, these insects produce a distinct, loud chirp – like singing, “katy-did-katy-didn’t.” 

Katydids join the summer symphony on hot July nights, but are rarely seen until autumn when cooler weather makes them clumsy and they fall from their treetop perches.

In autumn, females lay eggs in tree bark where they overwinter and hatch the following spring.   

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Trevor serves as KBIA’s weekday morning host for classical music. He has been involved with local radio since 1990, when he began volunteering as a music and news programmer at KOPN, Columbia's community radio station. Before joining KBIA, Trevor studied social work at Mizzou and earned a masters degree in geography at the University of Alabama. He has worked in community development and in urban and bicycle/pedestrian planning, and recently served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia with his wife, Lisa Groshong. An avid bicycle commuter and jazz fan, Trevor has cycled as far as Colorado and pawed through record bins in three continents.
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