Common Coneheads (Neoconocephalus sp.)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Common Coneheads, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 2/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The unusual head shape of Common Coneheads tips off their membership to a special group of Katydids.
Common Coneheads have faces that are pinched into a cone shape. The pointed heads of some species may even have a knob at the 'nose'. Like other Katydids, Common Coneheads can jump, fly and sing. Most are green and mimic leaves. Antennae are much longer than its body. Powerful hindlegs are long, much longer than the front sets of legs. Females bear long sword-like ovipositors used for laying fertilized eggs inside plant tissue. The curved ovipositor may be longer than the rest of the female's body. For this reason, some species are called Sword-Bearer Coneheads.
Adults and nymphs chew on grasses of all kinds, including corn crops. Some can deliver a painful bite to careless people thanks to strong jaws made for chewing through tough plant fibers. Most species are active during the summer and early fall, when grasses are at their peak growth. They can be found by listening for their songs; some only heard by day while other species sing at night. Some species sing both day and night. Still some other species chirp until they perceive encroaching danger, whereupon they change to a low buzz. Common Coneheads tend to reside in open fields, along roadsides, in corn fields and thickets.