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For the United States & Canada
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Subfamily Tettigoniinae - Shield-backed Katydids

D. balli? - Decticita brevicauda - female Metrioptera roeselii - male Anabrus sp? - Anabrus simplex - female Unidenified Grasshopper or Katydid Robust shieldback?  - Atlanticus gibbosus - male Anabrus simplex - female Eremopedes bilineatus - female Two-lined Shieldback - Eremopedes bilineatus - 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.