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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Evidence of Katydids

I found these katydid eggs affixed in two rows along a small twig by my mailbox. Which species of katydid laid them?

Scudderia furcata (forktailed bush katydid) is common in my garden, but she inserts her eggs between the tissue layers on the edge of leaves so I knew these eggs couldn't be her doing.

Phaneroptera nana, the Mediterranean katydid, recent import to OC would seem a likely suspect, except I found 2 citations stating the eggs are inserted into plant tissue (1 said apple leaves, the other outer bark of grapevines.

Microcentrum sp eggs are said to look like rows of small overlapped canteloupe seeds. The only microcentrum said to occur in CA (per bugguide) is californicum, however no katydid I've seen here has the brown patch on the thorax. M. rhombifolium seen here on Arthropods of Orange County (therefore, presumably occuring here in OC, contrary to info on bugguide saying it's not found in California) could have been the one pictured here (and therefore misidentified). Hmmm.

So which is it: 3 species of katydid in my small domain or just the two?

By the way these eggs were parasitized by a wasp, of unknown and possibly unknowable species.

Meanwhile, a katydid nymph is found on a nearby ruellia stem, offering its cuteness as a diversion from worries about identification and other serious matters.

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