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Sooty Longwing Katydid (Capnobotes fulginosus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Sooty Longwing Katydid

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Image Credit: Ray P., taken in Arabela, NM
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Image Credit: Ray P., taken in Arabela, NM
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Image Credit: Ray P., taken in Arabela, NM
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The omnivorous Sooty Longwing is a confident katydid found in the arid states of the U.S. and Mexico.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A Sooty Longwing is a large, gray katydid. Though it looks like a grasshopper, its antennae are extremely long and thin whereas a grasshopper?s is short and thick. Long wings have diagonal details on them, and long back legs allow them to jump fast and far. Hindwings are dark and sooty, almost black, and when threatened, this katydid flashes these wings. This species is not afraid to bite, so handling it is not recommended.

This species is found in the American Southwest and northern states of Mexico. It feeds on both plant matter and insects. At night, it hunts and can be found by artificial lights, taking advantage of the opportunity to attack other nocturnal insects near them. Males chirp in what sounds like a continuous, pulsing trill. At home in the desert, look for the Sooty Longwing on shrubs during the day and at night.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Jumping insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Tettigonidae
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          Genus: Capnobotes
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            Species: fulginosus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Capnobotes fulginosus
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 50mm (0.70" to 1.96")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray; brown
Descriptors: gray; bold; diagonal lines; long; dark wings; flying; grasshopper; large; bite; painful; spiky legs

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 50mm (2.0in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 34mm
Hi: 50mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of 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 Sooty Longwing Katydid 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 Sooty Longwing Katydid. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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