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Monday, October 8, 2012

Discovery

Tonight I was trying to record some crickets singing in our yard in Sebastopol.  I was hearing an unfamiliar sound that wasn't as common as the others.  It was relatively thin, high pitched, and raspy, and came in a series of short, two-parted bursts.  I was excited to record at least a brief sequence (it was ~55°F when I made this recording):


possible katydid by nhbh
 
It was dark and I wasn't sure I could locate the insect responsible for this sound, but I decided to try.  I was amazed when my headlamp beam found a wonderful orthopteran that I hadn't seen before.  What fun that its song led me to its discovery!

Here are a few photos.  The next image shows my first view.  Look at those bronzy hues, and the impressive length of the antennae!


It looks like the antennae are close to double the length of the body!


The back legs were also extremely long.  Here's an outstretched view.


The shield-like structure on its back also caught my eye.


And the abdomen had an intriguing black and silver pattern.


I have no idea what species this is.  After searching around a bit, I'm wondering if it's a type of shield-backed katydid, possibly in the genus Neduba.  Does anyone out there know more? 

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