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common true katydid

common true katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) [female]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey
common true katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) [male]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

Katydids have feet with four segments. The body generally resembles that of grasshoppers, but katydids have long, threadlike antennae instead of the grasshoppers’ short antennae. The common true katydid is about one and one-half to two inches in length. The body color is green. It has a round profile.

The lifespan of a katydid is about a year. Females usually lay their eggs at the end of summer. The males have sound-producing organs on their front wings. They use this sound for courtship. During courtship there often is antennal contact between male and female. Katydids are eaten by birds and mammals and may be the target of insect predators and parasites including horsehair worms, wasps and flies. The common true katydid sings from July through November. It lives in tree canopies. This species is practically flightless. True katydids lay eggs on bark or other plant tissue and overwinter in egg form. This species eats tree leaves.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Orthoptera 

Family: Tettigoniidae

Illinois Status

​common, native

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