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Northern Bush Katydid

Photo by Linda Gilbert

Northern Bush Katydid (Scudderia septentrionalis)


Appears to be uncommon. Seldom seen and difficult to hear because its intricate song is very high.


Trees, but they will come down to lights. The will come to moth lighting sheets.


Probably throughout our regions in wooded or partly wooded areas. Current reports: Geauga, Lake, Summit, and Ashtabula County locations.

Google map of recent sightings

Physical description

This Scudderia bush katydid is smaller than its relatives. The wings are more rounded than most of the other Scudderia and its tail plate is not as distinctive or noticeable as those of its relatives.

Northern Bush Katydid male on moth sheet
Northern Bush Katydid male has not tail


The complex, high-frequency song is delightful but difficult to hear. It consists of a series of light tics followed by several rapid “zee-zee-zee-zee-zees,” then more tics. 

Northern Bush Katydid Geauga County - Recording by Lisa Rainsong

Adult season

Mid-July into August.

General description and context

It is attracted to lights and may come to porch lights, moth sheets and even to the lights of an open garage.

Similar species

Other Scudderia bush katydids may look somewhat similar, but the Northern Bush Katydid lives up in the trees and is smaller. It appears to be strictly nocturnal, unlike our other bush katydids.

Field observation

After seeing how Linda Gilbert's inside garage lights were attracting Northern Bush Katydids, I decided to set up two large flashlights on a bench in a Geauga County Park I was surveying for katydids and crickets. I aimed the flashlights up into the trees and shortly thereafter, a Northern Bush Katydid came down to the lights and landed on the park bench. It was a new species for the park, thanks to the flashlights! Here he is:

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