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Above and below: meadow katydid nymphs
Nymphs and Molting

Cricket and katydid eggs overwinter and hatch in the late spring/early summer with the exception of Spring Field Crickets, which overwinter as nymphs and mature in late May. When the tiny nymphs hatch, they’re already able to jump and hide quite well.

Tiny ground cricket nymphs

Crickets and katydids go through a process of incomplete metamorphosis, which means they molt a number of times before they are adults.

Above and below: meadow katydid nymphs
Common True Katydid nymph

It’s not until the final molt that these insects have their adult wings, which is why the males don’t begin singing until July or early August. On warm nights in August, watch for molting that may be taking place. Nymphs will hang upside down and work their way our of their previous exoskeletons. They may also eat the exoskeletons they've just left.

 

If it is their final molt, they will gradually expand their adult wings and allow them to harden. Watch in amazement - just don't touch them at this very sensitive time!

Roesel's Katydid nymph
Short-winged Meadow Katydid molting
Female meadow katydid molting
Short-winged Meadow Katydid
eating former exoskeleton
Meadow katydids are the ones whose molting you'll most likely see.
Tree Cricket - possibly Davis's - just molted and is eating former exoskeleton
Greater Angle-wing's final molt
About 30 minutes later, the Greater Angle-wing's new wings are almost ready.
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Greater Angle-wing - Recording by Lisa Rainsong
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