Oblong-Winged Katydid

Amblycorypha oblongifolia

Oblong-Winged_Katydid_Pink_form_6-22-20.jpg

Pink katydid standing on a milkweed leaf
To see Missouri's pink katydids, visit a native tallgrass prairie in summer. The pink populations are a form or race of the oblong-winged katydid (Amblycorypha oblongifolia), which is usually leaf-green. The pink color is actually a genetically dominant trait in this species.
David Stonner
Other Common Name
Pink Katydid
Family

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

Description

Oblong-winged katydid is one of several members of a subfamily called false katydids, named because they do not sing the famous "katy did, katy didn't" call. More specifically, it is a member of the genus called round-headed katydids, named because the top of the head is rounded. The hind legs in this genus are very long.

The oblong-winged katydid is one of the species that can be pink, yellow, orange, or tan instead of green. The rasping organs, in a flattened, elongated triangle behind the pronotum, are dark or blackish. The distinctive call is a single, rapid "tzeety-tik!" with several seconds in between calls.

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

Habitat and conservation

To see Missouri's nifty-looking pink katydids, visit a native tallgrass prairie in summer. These pink populations are a form or race of the oblong-winged katydid, which is usually leaf-green. The color is caused by genetics, and populations with unusual colors are typically geographically isolated from others of their species.

Recently, researchers discovered that pink is actually caused by a dominant gene, and green is a recessive trait: when pink and green individuals interbreed, at least 50 percent of their offspring are pink. Yet the majority of individuals in this species are expressing the recessive, green trait. Apparently, the green individuals predominate in most places because their camouflage works much better, and there are no pink individuals nearby with which to breed.