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Genus Orchelimum - Greater Meadow Katydids

Red-headed Meadow Katydid - Orchelimum erythrocephalum - male Orchelimum silvaticum - male Handsome Meadow Katydid - Orchelimum pulchellum - male Conocephalus? - Orchelimum - female Orchelimum? - Orchelimum - male Greater Meadow Katydid - Orchelimum - male Orchelimum silvaticum or Orchelimum minor or Orchelimum ? - Orchelimum - male Orchelimum - male
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 Conocephalini (Meadow Katydids)
Genus Orchelimum (Greater Meadow Katydids)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Orchelimum Serville, 1839
Explanation of Names
The etymology of this genus name is obscure. Orche is perhaps related to the Greek orchestra, from orchesthai to dance. There is also an Old French word orchel, or archel referring to a type of violet dye. (Based on Internet searches and various print dictionaries.)
The limum or imum is obscure. Limum is Latin for "mire", or "muck", but perhaps the word is from Greek leimon meadow. (Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.) So this is a "meadow dancer" or a "muck dancer"?
Perhaps, however, Orche is related to orchis, Greek, testicle, (plural orches) which is the origin of the botanical orchids. A tough one!
Arnett (1) and Nearctica (2) list 21 species.
20-42 mm
Compare the, usually smaller, slimmer, Lesser Meadow Katydids, Conocephalus. Females of Conocephalus usually have straight ovipositors, while female Orchelimum have curved ovipositors. Many Conocephalus seem to have a clear green "face", while many Orchelimum have some white mottling or other coloration, such as red.

Most species are identified via examining the structure of the male cerci, see Capinera fig. 60 (3) or Singing Insects of North America.
Eastern and central North America, at least one species reaches California in west.
Fields, meadows. Prefer wetter areas more than Conocephalus?
Typically late summer to frost. August-November (North Carolina), July-October (Michigan)
Food habits similar to Conocephalus, eating flowers and seed os forbs, grasses, sedge fruits. Sometimes feed on leaves, flowers, and pollen of forbs and grasses. Occasionally predaceous and cannibalistic, more so than Conocephalus. (4)
Life Cycle
Oviposit in grass-stems, presumably, as does the related genus Conocephalus. One generation per year.
See Also
Print References
Arnett, p. 162 (1)
Bland, pp. 154-158 (4)
Brimley, p. 20, gives season. (5)
Capinera, pp. 178-181, plate 39, fig. 60 (3)
Helfer pp. 265-266, fig. 408 (6)
Rehn JAG, Hebard M. 1915a. Studies in American Tettigoniidae. IV. A synopsis of the species of the genus Orchelimum. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 41: 11-83. See references at SINA for a pdf version.
Internet References
Singing Insects of North America--genus description, species list
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Nearctica: Nomina Insecta Nearctica
3.Field Guide To Grasshoppers, Katydids, And Crickets Of The United States
John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, Thomas J. Walker. 2004. Cornell University Press.
4.Orthoptera of Michigan
Roger Bland. 2003. Michigan State University Extension.
5.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
6.How to Know the Grasshoppers, Cockroaches, and Their Allies
Jacques R. Helfer. 1962. Wm. C. Brown Company.