The mythical katydid …

I had begun to think that the katydid was either a myth or that I was doing something wrong.  After all, they are not un-common, there are over a thousand species of katydid/bush crickets in Australia, and I like to think that my garden is somewhat of an oasis – so why hadn’t I seen one ?

Then last night I heard a quiet chirp and a scratch of something against a fly-screen, so I grabbed my torch and went out to investigate … finally a katydid!  And just the one I wanted to see, the 32 Spotted Katydid.  So I popped it in a big jar with a lettuce leaf (for a bit of atmosphere) and left it in the kitchen overnight.

Overnight accommodation for a katydid
Overnight accommodation for a katydid

This morning I was able to study its beautiful markings and to count its spots – this one did appear to have 32 of them, but apparently the number varies.

There are 32 spots - I counted!
There are 32 spots – I counted!

It seems that they tend to live at the top of gumtrees. I only have two and they are at least sixty metres tall – which probably explains why I haven’t seen them at ground level before.  Perhaps the last two days of incessant heavy drizzle washed it from its perch?

The waving katydid
The waving katydid

I have to say that its face reminds me more than a little of the extra-terrestrial in the movie Predator (you have to be an Arnie fan to have seen this one).  But this creature is beautiful and far less threatening.


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