Other Common Names
Central Texas Leaf-Katydid (1)
, (but note that range now known to extend to c. OK), Truncated True Katydid (SINA)
Explanation of Names
Paracyrtophyllus robustus Caudell 1906
"Central Texas Leaf-Katydid" - coined by Taber & Fleenor (2003) (1)
a little better than "Truncated True Katydid" (SINA), but range now known to extend north to c. OK...
"Red Katydid" - vernacular name in Texas. Isolated individuals are green, whereas outbreak individuals are mostly pink to red.
3 genera and 4 spp. of True Katydids (Subfamily Pseudophyllinae
) n. of Mex.
True katydids have leaf-like wings that form cups enclosing the abdomen. Wings only allow for feeble flight.
(The cupped wings probably serve to amplify their songs.)
Antennae longer and stiffer than in other katydids
Green form (nymphs and adults):
Red form (outbreak conditions):
c. TX to c. OK (San Antonio to Oklahoma City) - Map
(SINA), plus (BG data)
An arboreal (tree-dwelling) species found mostly in oak-woodlands. They mostly inhabit the tree's crown except during outbreak conditions. (2)
During normal population levels, this species' green color and propensity to sing from the tree tops means they are much more likely to be heard than seen. During outbreaks, they can be found everywhere.
Late instar nymphs out in April per BG data. Adults primarily sing from late May to mid-July, but can be heard until September.
Feed on Oaks. During outbreaks, they have defoliated post oaks (Quercus stellata), plateau live oaks (Quercus fusiformis) and Texas red oaks (Quercus buckleyi).
Only one generation per year (thankfully!)
Katydids normally sing only at night, starting at dusk, but during outbreaks they sing day and night (and how!!!)
Sound file of one katydid singing
- Thomas J. Walker, Singing Insects of North America
Known county records for past outbreaks:
2016: along the Bexar-Guadalupe county line, TX
2013: Seminole County, OK
2012: Bandera, Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Collin, Comal, Fayette, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Parker, Real, Tarrant, Travis, Uvalde and Williamson counties, TX
2010: Bexar, Comal, Medina, and Real counties, TX
2007: Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Hays, Kendall, and Medina counties, TX
2001: Lee County, TX
Pterophylla camellifolia - Common True Katydid
- An eastern US species (MAP)
with more elongate wings and lacks a red form
Paracyrtophyllus excelsus - Chisos Katydid
- restricted to Chisos Mtns, of west Texas
Caudell, A.N. 1906. Class I, Hexapoda. Order XI, Orthoptera. The Cyrtophylli of the United States. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 14: 32-45. Full Text
Hebard, M. 1941. The group Pterophyllae as found in the United States (Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 67: 197-219, 2 pl.
Whitesell, J.J. 1974. Geographic variation and dimorphisms in song, development, and color in a katydid: field and laboratory studies (Tettigoniidae, Orthoptera). PhD dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville. 75 pp.