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fork-tailed bush katydid

fork-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia furcata) [female]
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey
fork-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia furcata) [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 fork-tailed bush katydid is about one and four-tenths to one and six-tenths inches long. The ovipositor of the female is brown rather than the green of similar species. Green is the main body color, but patches of red, yellow, black, purple, brown and white may also be found on the body.

The lifespan of a katydid is about a year. Females usually lay their eggs at the end of summer. Most katydids overwinter in the egg form. 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 fork-tailed bush katydid sings from July through October. It lives in tall grasses, flowers, trees and shrubs and eats plant materials.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Orthoptera 

Family: Tettigoniidae

Illinois Status

​common, native

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