Lesser Angle-Winged Katydid

Microcentrum retinerve

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Lesser angle-winged katydid resting on the ground
The lesser angle-winged katydid (Microcentrum retinerve) is one of our common species of katydids. Its song is a single 3-5-pulsed rattle, with about a second of silence between each rattle.
Donna Brunet
Other Common Name
Lesser Anglewing
Family

Tettigoniidae (katydids) in the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets)

Description

The lesser angle-winged katydid belongs to a subfamily called false katydids, or Phaneropterine katydids. It doesn't sing "katy did, katy didn't." Instead, it stridulates a quick, 3–5-pulsed rattle, with a second or two of silence between rattles: "Tttt! . . . Ttttt! . . . Ttt!"

On its back, behind the pronotum (shoulder-like plate), and in front of the ridge used for song-rasping, there's a distinctive brown patch. Behind the head, there is no tooth along the front edge of the pronotum. Length to just over 2 inches. This species occurs through the southeastern United States.

Similar species:

  • The greater angle-winged katydid (Microcentrum rhombifolium) is larger, lacks the brown spot, and has a small tooth on the front edge of the pronotum. Length to about 2½ inches. Its song is a sharp Dzt! given once every few seconds, plus a fairly even, rapid series of 10–20 tics. It has a broad range, across the eastern and southwestern parts of the United States.
  • The common true katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) is the species that sings the famous raspy, staccato "katy-did, katy-didn't" call from high in trees in late summer evenings. The legs are relatively short for its large size (body length to 2 inches long). The oval wing covers, which look like green leaves, bulge outward.
  • There are about 250 species of katydids in North America north of Mexico.

Learn more about this and other katydids on their group page.