Oblong-Winged Katydid

Media
Pink katydid standing on a milkweed leaf
Scientific Name
Amblycorypha oblongifolia
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.

Common Name Synonyms
Pink Katydid

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.

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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.