September 25, 2021
We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! The following post was originally published on August 9, 2020.
This little lady that I found hanging out on the toe of my boot is Conocephalus strictus, also known as the straight-lanced meadow katydid.
When we think of katydids, we usually think of the larger species that tend to show up to porch lights at night. However, katydids come in a variety of sizes. This particular species is identifiable by the length of the ovipositor, which is the tube-like organ that some insect species use to lay their eggs. The females of Conocephalus strictus have an ovipositor longer than their body, which is where their common name (straight-lanced) comes from!
Katydids are responsible for a lot of the insect noises that we hear on summer evenings. This species produces a faint purring noise with a sort of pulsating quality. They can commonly be found in fields and grassy open areas.
Thank you to VMNH Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology Dr. Kal Ivanov for the ID!
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!