Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Subfamily Tettigoniinae - Shield-backed Katydids

Unknown Bug Grasshopper (?) - Anabrus simplex - female Atlanticus sp? - Atlanticus Cricket/Shield Katydid nymph Shieldback - Atlanticus - female shieldback? - Neduba - female Shield-backed Katydids - Tettigoniinae - female Orthopteran - Atlanticus - female Pediodectes haldemanii adult (used for article in Rearing forum) - Pediodectes haldemanii - male - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids)
Suborder Ensifera (Long-horned Orthoptera)
Infraorder Tettigoniidea (Katydids, Camel Crickets, and relatives)
Family Tettigoniidae (Katydids)
Subfamily Tettigoniinae (Shield-backed Katydids)
Other Common Names
Predaceous Katydids
Singing Insects of North America lists approximately 25 genera. (1)
Capinera (2) lists 122 North American species in this subfamily.
18-50 (a few, 85) mm
Usually have short wings, brown or black coloration. Pronotum usually shield-like, extends back over wings. Resemble robust crickets. True "shieldbacks", e.g., Atlanticus, have reduced wings, especially in females, and are flightless.
Most genera (21 or so) in western North America. Four genera in east, Atlanticus is widespread.
Varied: open country, croplands, a few in forests
Summer, early fall
Some species are active predators of other insects. Many also eat plant material and scavenge dead insects.
Formerly called subfamily Decticinae. May bite if handled. In Europe, called "Wart Biters". Some species are pests of crops, such as the "Mormon Cricket", Anabrus simplex.
Print References
Capinera, pp. 184-191, plates 41-42 (2)
Arnett, pp. 163-164, figs. 11.19--Anabrus, 11.2--Atlanticus, 11.21--Peranabrus, 11.22--Hubbellia. (3)
Helfer, pp. 281-303, figs. 437-481 illustrates several genera. (4)
Internet References
SINA (1): subfamily page
key to Eastern genera, species list--has links to several accounts with photos
Insects of Cedar Creek--Minnesota, only Atlanticus is listed
Rentz & Birchim 1968 [key to most north american genera]
Works Cited
1.Singing Insects of North America
2.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
3.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
4.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.