Katydid…She Did!


March 19, 2009
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Since writing my blog “Katydid…Did She?” I have been overwhelmed by the amount of feedback I’ve gotten. Apparently, katydids are a very popular insect and I have heard stories and answered questions from readers as far away as Bangladesh and London.  I am so happy to share my love of insects with people around the world! Katydids have given mothers a way to bond with their children, been a companion for people seeking  an easy pet to care for, and inspired curiosity and wonder in so many.

Green Katydid
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gerald Yuvallos

One great story came to me from a gentleman named James from London.  He had acquired a male and female pair of katydids from an entomology show. After having them for several months, the male passed away. The female seemed, he said, to be very sad. She was making an awful lot of noise and quickly laid several eggs, then died shortly after, dragging her weakened body to lay next to her mate. It seemed romantic that she had died of a broken heart.

I gave him some suggestions on how to properly care for his new eggs.  A short 5 weeks later, the first little hatchlings started to emerge. I was so happy to hear this news!  He sent me a few photos of his new babies for identification and they were adorable. I was surprised to find out that they were a species from Florida, Stilpnochlora couloniana. A beautiful and large species native to our own country! This is just one of so many great stories that readers have shared with me.

So to all of my readers out there that are crazy about katydids, I have wonderful news! The inspiration for my very first post about katydids, giant Malaysian Katydid ( Macrolyristes corporalis)  eggs, have finally hatched! This was a newer batch that was laid in mid- November. For months I have been doting over them and hoping that they would hatch. On Thursday, March 5, I found my first brand new little nymph. I was absolutely overjoyed! I now have 11 nymphs with 20 more eggs to go.

Blog 111
Creative Commons License photo credit: emills1
one of my babies!

These tiny little katydids have to shed their skin 6 times and in about 6 months they will have grown into the largest and loudest species of katydid. Right now they are very goofy looking. A tiny little body with extremely long skinny legs and antennae that are several times the length of their bodies. Once they reach adulthood, they will be put on display for visitors to see and travel to schools all around Houston to amaze children and teach them the wonders of the amazing world of insects! I would like to thank all of the readers who sent in their comments and stories and would love to hear more! If you have  anything to say at all about katydids or insects in general, feel free to leave a comment, they are always appreciated! To all of you insect enthusiasts out there, happy bug watching!

Blog 136
Creative Commons License photo credit: emills1
One of our majestic Giants
Erin M
Authored By Erin M Mills

As an entomologist at the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Erin designs, creates, and maintains exhibits for the Entomology Hall, raises and cares for live insects and insect relatives, and educates the public about the wonderful world of bugs.

6 responses to “Katydid…She Did!”

  1. Laurie says:

    We had another one emerge today, so it has the same birthday as Erin! yeah!

  2. Roey says:

    Hi Erin,

    I live in Uganda and am interested in cultivating Katydids here as they are widely consumed, at least when swarms of them arrive in October and April. I was wondering if we could start a conversation regarding the best way one might go about rearing them. You seem to be having a considerable amount of success.

    All the best,
    Roey

  3. Wil Hershberger says:

    Erin,
    Could you please forward to me the directions for raising katydids from eggs. I am the co-author of “The Songs of Insects” that was published in 2007. We never raised katydids from eggs and I have received several emails asking for the proper procedure to do so.
    Thank you very much for your time,
    Wil Hershberger

  4. Erin F says:

    Hi Will! Erin discusses how to raise Katydids in this post: http://blog.hmns.org/?p=359

    If you have any more specific questions, you can send them to blogadmin@hmns.org and we’ll forward it on the Erin M.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. That1dude says:

    I believe I caught a katydid. Any tips on how to take care of it?

  6. Erin M. says:

    Hi! You can refer to my previous blog, Katydid…Did She? by clicking on this link:
    http://blog.hmns.org/?p=359 If scroll through and read the comments, you’ll see that I have answered many, many questions about caring for katydids! If you still have questions, let me know!

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