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slender meadow katydid

slender meadow katydid (Conocephalus fasciatus) [female]
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 slender meadow katydid is about three-fourths to one inch in length. It has long wings. The tip of the abdomen is green. The femur (large segment of the leg; third leg segment from the body) is green with some black spots.

The lifespan of a katydid is about a year. Females usually lay their eggs at the end of summer beneath the soil or in plant stems. The eggs are typically oval and laid in rows on the plant. 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 slender meadow katydid can be found in tall grasses and forbs, especially in wet spots, prairies, meadows and wetland edges. Singing occurs from July through October.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Orthoptera 

Family: Tettigoniidae

Illinois Status

​common, native

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