Wild Profile: Meet the conehead katydid

Published: August 27, 2019

By Gerry Bishop/Shutterstock

You know its cousins: grasshoppers and crickets. But you may not recognize a katydid. These bugs are expert plant mimics, traveling slowly and blending in with green or brown leaves thanks to their slender bodies. And they really commit to the charade—sometimes their wings even have fake leaf “veins” or imitation caterpillar bite marks.   

Canada has many species of katydids; conehead katydids (pictured) have long antennae, and comically large, slightly pointy heads.  These katydids can fly—some can’t—but they prefer to evade predators by holding their wings and legs tight to their bodies and launching themselves head-first into the grass, like tiny, streamlined projectiles. They’ll stay this way, upside down, until it’s safe to move again. Diving for cover? Heck, it usually works in action movies!

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