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Dusky-faced Meadow Katydid

Dusky-faced Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum campestre)


Rare, though their habitat is also not very accessible. They may be more common that we know.


Wetland plants such as arrowhead that are surrounded by water.


There are historical records for our area, but I did not find any until August 2016 at Bath Nature Preserve in Summit County. I subsequently found them in the Medina County Park District at the Chippewa Inlet Trail north wetland and at Frohring Meadows in the Geauga Park District

Physical description

These katydid live surrounded by water. They have some resemblance to Common Meadow Katydids, but their faces range between tan, brown, and olive green with markings that look like a network of tiny capillaries across them. Different individuals seem to have varying degrees of brown in their facial color. Their wings are brown, and their eyes are somewhere between tan and orange. All their colors are subtle, but quite beautiful.

Most of you probably will not encounter this species. For those of you who spend time in our region's wetlands, here are some photos you will find helpful. Clockwise from upper left: male with darker face color, male's cerci, female with a greenish face, female with somewhat darker face color. Notice the long, brown wings and the curved ovipositor typical of the Orchelimum genus.


A series of audible “tics” followed by a number of long rattles. They sing at night.

Dusky-faced Meadow Katydid - Recording by Lisa Rainsong

Adult season

August and September to the best of my knowledge.

General description and context

Dusky-faced Meadow Katydids require a minimum of knee-high boots. I watched them leap from one arrowhead to another and actually heard them land on the thick, heavy leaves. They also seemed to be eating those thick leaves as well. They can be found in other wetland plants as well and could be close to dry land, but you'll still want those waterproof boots.

Field observation

When one graciously climbed right up on my hand and started chewing on me, it was immediately apparent how they were able to bite through the thick, tough arrowhead leaves. I’m not accustomed to katydid nibbling actually hurting!

Listening in Nature

Singing Insects of North America

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