tettigonidae

#1128 - Alectoria superba - Superb Katydid

Another from Tony Eales, who found it out near Roma in Queensland. A truly magnificent beast.

Also known as the Crested Katydid, this species is the only member of its genus and has no close relative. It’s been found across much of inland Australia but never frequently, and since the diet appears to consist of flowers, that’s probably because rain is so infrequent Out Back. 

Little is known of their biology and life cycle but the females have a very short ovipositor, and probably stick their eggs to the side of plant stems. The purpose of the crest is unknown - both males and females have one.

#549 - Requena Katydid

Requena sp. (Fam. Tettigonidae)

Yet another Orthopteran from my yard. I’ve been rather startled at the variety - and rather more by the number of Orthopteran families I’ve never heard of before now. I guess my knowledge of the order was sorely lacking, as well as out-of-date.

Many katydids are carnivorous. One Australian species even mimics female cicada noises, to lure males to their doom. I have no idea what this one eats, but since the forelegs aren’t fearsomely spined, probably a harmless herbivore. On the other hand, Requena verticalis is one of the katydids known to feed the female a large sperm-mass meal at the end of mating - a useful protein supplement.