Oblong-winged Katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia)
Woodland understory that is somewhat open, edge habitat, wetlands, occasionally in meadows.
All counties in our region.
Oblong-wingeds are splendid leaf mimics. Their heads are round, and their bodies look rather short when compared with their long, beautiful wings. Males have a very dark stridulatory field (at the base of the wings where the songs are produced) and females have a wide, curved ovipositor.
Scrit-CHIT? (pause) Scri-chi-CHIT? (pause) Scri-chi-CHIT? We may not hear all the syllables, but we’ll likely hear what I’ve notated above. A very soft “tic” may be heard when the song ends. Oblong-winged typically sing at night.
The first recording is an Oblong-winged singing in his overall context at 74 degrees F. You'll hear other singing insects in the background. I was very close to an Oblong-winged when I made the second recording, which was at 63F. You'll see on the sonogram - and may even be able to hear - a very soft "tic" when the wings close at the end of the song.
End of July through September and occasionally October depending on how mild the autumn has been. They typically sing at night.
General description and context
These katydids can be found in a variety of habitats. If you see a female sitting on an eye-level leaf in the woodland understory as if she were posing – she might be doing just that. Listen. Do you hear males singing nearby? They may be coming in closer to her, and you may have a chance to watch one of them sing.
Rattler Round-winged Katydid look similar, but they are significantly smaller. Their songs are also quite different. Rattlers sing a series of short bursts of song followed by a longer one, Their songs sound like soft rattling rather than an emphatic “Scri-chi-CHIT?” of the Oblong-winged. You can hear a comparison on the Round-winged, Oblong-winged, Angle-wing page.
Some crickets and katydids don’t seem to object to flashlights, but I’ve noticed that Oblong-winged Katydids find them uncomfortable and upsetting. If a katydid moves its legs or feet across its eyes or turns its head to hide them, reconsider the degree of light you may be using. They can certainly fly away, but they may want to stay because of a male or female nearby.
Songs of Insects:
Singing Insects of North America: