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Genus Neoconocephalus - Common Coneheads

Conehead - Neoconocephalus triops - female Brown Conehead - Neoconocephalus triops - female Broad-tipped Conehead Katydid - Neoconocephalus triops - female katydid - Neoconocephalus triops - male Neoconocephalus retusus - female Neoconocephalus caudellianus - Neoconocephalus triops - female Neoconocephalus triops? - Neoconocephalus triops - female Neoconocephalus triops - 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 Conocephalinae (Coneheads and Meadow Katydids)
Tribe Copiphorini (Coneheads)
Genus Neoconocephalus (Common Coneheads)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Neoconocephalus Karny, 1907. Taxonomic notes:
Moved from subfamily Copiphorinae at BugGuide on 1 February 2008. Placement in subfamily Conocephalinae of family Tettigoniidae follows the classification used in the Orthoptera Species File here; see Taxonomy Proposals forum topic on "Orthoptera" here.
Arnett lists 14 species in genus (1), as does
body length 37-74 mm
Wings extend beyond abdomen. Cone is separated from face by a gap and does not have a sharp point. Female has very long ovipositor. This genus has green and brown color phases.

Most species in the genus can be identified from their distinctive cones. Some examples on BugGuide:

N. bivocatus

N. caudellianus

N. ensiger

N. exiliscanorus

N. melanorhinus

N. retusus

N. robustus

N. triops

See photos of the cones of all U.S. species at SINA
Most species occur in eastern North America.
Grassy areas, thickets, marshes, sometimes cornfields
July-October (North Carolina, most species), September-May (North Carolina, N. triops). July-September, October (Michigan)
Adults feed mostly on seeds of grasses, sometimes sedges. Nymphs feed on grass flowers, developing seeds. N. robustus is known to feed on forbs.
Life Cycle
Oviposit into crowns of grass clumps. Most overwinter as eggs, have one generation per year in north. Some species overwinter as adults in south, have two periods of breeding activity. Males perch on plants and sing at night.
May bite when handled.
Print References
Arnett, p. 162, fig. 11.16 (1)
Bland, pp. 151-154 (2)
Brimley, pp. 19-20 (3)
Capinera, pp. 170-174, fig. 59 (4)
Helfer, pp. 268-271 (5)
Milne, p. 433, fig. 282--N. nebrascensis (6)
Internet References
Singing Insects of North America has a key to species of this genus, range maps, excellent discussion of life histories (link updated 18 March 2011).
pinned and live images of N. ensiger (Insects of Cedar Creek, U. of Minnesota)
classification plus literature citations and included taxa (Orthoptera Species File)
video of Neoconocephalus triops male stridulating--Flickr (Patrick Coin)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.
3.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
4.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
5.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.
6.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.