weird and wonderful looking insects are
GIANT FLORIDA KATYDIDS,
a type of bush cricket native to Florida and Cuba.
They closely resemble leaves, as you can see from
these pictures, so that they can camouflage
themselves in the bushes and trees in which they
see from this close-up image below just how
amazingly leaf-like their wings are down to the
tiniest details of their pattern!
many species of insects they regularly clean their
legs and antennae using their mouthparts, here you
can see an adult female and a smaller nymph cleaning
their back legs in this way:
an adult male cleaning one of his antennae!
personally believe that they have one of the most
interesting faces in the insect world, I hope you
picture below is
of an adult pair, the male being the
smaller of the two individuals (on the lower left of
the picture). If adult katydids are disturbed
or feel threatened they can jump very well using
their powerful back legs and then fly/glide to
flee from danger, a very impressive sight indeed
considering their large size!!
look at them directly from above you realise just
how unusual their wing shape is, being a very thin
structure when viewed in this way compared to either
this species is very much like a living green leaf
there are many different species of katydids
worldwide and some look quite different. I was
lucky enough to see a number of species whilst
exploring the rainforests of Costa Rica in December
2013, my favourite two were those below - one of
which was a deep brown colour (more like a dead leaf
in appearance) and the other bright green with
beautifully patterned wings and a large horn on its
(ova) of giant Florida katydids are truly
amazing looking things and my females regularly
attach them to the side of their mesh
enclosure! In this cluster alone there are
about 125 ova!
look at them up really close you can see that they
are exquisitely beautiful, with each individual egg
or ovum looking more like a shield than an egg!
bred this species many times over the years and once I was fortunate to be
able to photograph one in the process of emerging
from its egg.
hatched nymphs they are extremely
cute as you can see here! They are almost
transparent and mainly a mixture of lilac, yellow
For LOTS more information
and many more photographs of giant Florida katydids please