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Meadow Katydid Nymph - Orchelimum nigripes - female

Meadow Katydid Nymph - Orchelimum nigripes - Female
Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
September 10, 2011
I was taking pictures of mating differential grasshoppers and saw this katydid right behind them. I think she might be a Black-legged Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum nigripes), but her wings are too short and her face is too green. Maybe a Common Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum vulgare), but her legs look too dark. Maybe a Delicate Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum delicatum), but her wings are too short and her legs are too dark. Maybe a Woodland Meadow Katydid (Conocephalus nemoralis), but her body isn't dark enough. I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks!

Moved from Handsome Meadow Katydid.
I don't think that the Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum) can be found in Indiana, so I'm moving her to Black-legged Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum nigripes) for now.

I seem to have goofed
that's where she was supposed to be. Not sure how she ended up with "Handsome", I wasn't even looking at that species, but I'm sure I clicked on something incorrect :0) Glad you caught it.

I might get over-ruled
but even though this is a fuzzy picture, it's not bad, and there are so few pictures of nymphs that I think it might indeed be useful.

Moved from Frass.

Moved from Meadow Katydids.

female Orchellimum nymph
Hi Kelly, I think you might be looking at this young girl as if she were mature; however, she is a last instar nymph, and the wings would be much longer after the next molt. The shape of the ovipositor rule out any genus except Orchellimum. I think the ovipoistor is too long and not thick enough for a last instar O. vulgare, too long for O. campestre & O. concinnum; it is not straight enough for O. delicatum, O. minor, O. gladiator, or O. volantum (and I think O. minor is probably not in the area?); leaving the following as candidates - O. nigripes & silvaticum - I think.

My gut reaction (based on shape and coloring) is that this is a nymph of O. nigripes, even though her legs aren't particularly dark for the species. [They are very dark as compared with most of the other species.] Anyway, while maybe still a tiny bit tentative, I think you had the correct answer. I don't remember just how variable the nymphs are in color (I haven't seen them in person for many years), but I think they darken and the face often changes color after the last molt, with the nymphs greener on average, and thus harder to see.

Last instar nymph
Thanks, David! My gut reaction was also that she might be an immature O. nigripes, but I've never seen one at this stage before. I really appreciate your detailed answer - I always learn so much from you! I'll plan to frass her, unless you think she might be useful :)

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