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Life Cycle of a Katydid

Updated November 21, 2016

Katydids are insects that are closely related to crickets and grasshoppers. They are bright green in colour. This is their natural camouflage, as it helps them blend into plants and leaves. Katydids are most often found in the treetops where there are many leaves. They inhabit areas with lots of vegetation including forests, thickets, and grassy fields. They are known for the loud sounds they make. Katydids have a lifespan of about a year or less.

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Katydids mate during the late summer months and sometimes into early fall. Male katydids make noise by rubbing their wings together to attract a mate. In some species of katydid, including angular-winged katydids, the female insect responds to the male's noise with noise of its own. During mating, the male inserts a jellylike substance containing semen into the female's body.


After mating, female katydids lay their eggs on plant stems or in the ground. The female katydid uses an organ on her abdomen called a ovipositor. This organ helps her inject her eggs into the plant stem or the ground. The katydid's eggs are grey in colour and oval in shape. They measure approximately 1/4 inch in length.


Katydid eggs stay in the ground through the winter months and then hatch in the spring. The baby katydids that emerge from the eggs are called nymphs.


Young katydids, or nymphs, look similar to adult katydids, but they do not have wings. Like many other species of insects, the nymphs go through several moults--the shedding of their hard, outer layer--during growth. Nymphs usually undergo their final moulting stage after 60 to 90 days.


Adult katydids feed on many types of leaves, especially those found on deciduous trees such as oak leaves. Though adult katydids do have wings, they usually do not fly unless they feel threatened. Instead, they walk along the ground or climb along tree trunks and branches. Most species of katydid have a lifespan of less than one year.

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About the Author

Mary Sharp
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