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Common Coneheads (Neoconocephalus sp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Common Coneheads

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Image Credit: Tim and Jill from MI
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The unusual head shape of Common Coneheads tips off their membership to a special group of Katydids.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Jumping insect icon
Insect stinger icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Tettigoniidae
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          Genus: Neoconocephalus
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            Species: sp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Neoconocephalus sp.
Other Name(s): Conehead Katydids, Sword-Bearers
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 27mm to 40mm (1.06" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, yellow, brown
Descriptors: legs, cone, pointy, narrow, cricket, grasshopper, sword, stinger, flying, jumping

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 27mm (1.1in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 27mm
Md: 33.5mm
Hi: 40mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Common Coneheads may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Common Coneheads. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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