Lesser Angle-Winged Katydid

Lesser angle-winged katydid resting on the ground
Scientific Name
Microcentrum retinerve
Tettigoniidae (katydids) in the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets)

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.

Other Common Names
Lesser Anglewing
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Similar Species
About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.