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Roesel's Katydid

Roesel’s Katydid (Roeseliana roeselii)

Occurrence

Variable, but they can be quite common in some areas.

Habitat

Grassy fields, pastures, meadows.

Range

Lake, Geauga, Summit, Cuyahoga counties and possibly others.

Physical description

A small, attractive European shieldback that is more slender and has longer wings than our native shieldback katydids. The shield is smaller and edged with white. The Roesel’s can be very brown or show considerable green. The short-winged form is more common, but long-winged forms are found rather often as well. 

Female's ovipositor. She has recently mated, and the spermatophore is visible.
Long-winged and short-winged forms

Song

Its penetrating song sounds rather like the electrical crackling of high-voltage lines. It is basically continuous but occasional breaks are possible. They sing in the afternoon and at night.

Roesel's Katydid at 85F - Recording by Lisa Rainsong
00:00 / 00:00

Adult season

Third week of June through July. An occasional elderly individual may be found in August.

General description and context

This little shieldback spread west from its initial (and accidental) introduction in Montreal around 1950. At one time, an isolated population was thought to exist in the Chicago area, but more recent field reports have demonstrated that Roesel’s Katydid can actually be found from the northeast to Illinois and even a little west of there. Chicago-area naturalist Carl Strang has tracked them east to our region.

Field observation

Frohring Meadows in the Geauga County park district has a power line corridor at the back of the property, which is why I associate the Roesel’s song with the crackling high-voltage lines. When I did a singing insect survey there in 2008 and 2012, I’d have to listen up above me or down below me to determine which I was hearing.

Listening in Nature

http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-first-singing-katydid-of-season_2.html

 

Songs of Insects

http://songsofinsects.com/katydids/roesels-katydid

 

Singing Insects of North America

http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/walker/buzz/301a.htm