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True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia)

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

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Bright green True Katydids are more often heard than seen thanks to their brilliantly executed camouflage.

Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
True Katydids, or Northern Katydids, are great leaf mimics. The veins on their oval-shaped green wings look just like the veins on a tree leaf. This makes them virtually invisible on any tree in the forest. When standing still, they are easily overlooked as part of a branch or twig. Males have a brown patch in the shape of a triangle near the head. This so-called 'saddle' resembles the dried out parts of leaves or stems so the insect's camouflage is still intact. Females have a curved ovipositor that looks like a thick scimitar (sword). Both have long antennae.

Though they have wings, the True Katydid does not use them much. It is fond of jumping and walking. Males have a loud screeching call that is usually heard at dusk in the summer. This call is used to attract females, who often respond with their own call, which sounds like scraping. Females lay fertilized eggs in tree bark or inside stems or twigs. Adults and larvae eat leaves.

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Tettigoniidae
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          Genus: Pterophylla
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            Species: camellifolia
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Pterophylla camellifolia
Other Name(s): Northern Katydid
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 55mm (1.77" to 2.16")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, brown
Descriptors: loud, flying, fluttering, screaming, triangle, patch, saddle

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 45mm (1.8in) and 55mm (2.2in)
Lo: 45mm
Md: 50mm
Hi: 55mm
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 True 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 True Katydid. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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