The Endemic Leaf-mimic Katydid of Saint-Martin

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 26 Nov 2013 22:34

The Endemic Leaf-mimic Katydid of Saint-Martin

Katydids are closely related to grasshoppers and crickets, and many species have evolved to look like leaves as a form of camouflage.

On St. Martin, we have two species of bright green katydid with angular wings that make them look like leaves. One species is found in many parts of the Caribbean, and the other was discovered on St. Martin and is known only from this island.

261113-LeafMimic2The species that is found only on St. Martin can be identified by the red coloring on its legs. Nymphs of this species also have red and pink patches on their body, perhaps to look like leaves that have been damaged. Nymph is the name for immature insects for those that do not undergo a complete metamorphosis.

An example of complete metamorphosis would be a butterfly growing from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. In insects that have incomplete metamorphosis they go from egg to nymph to adult.

Endemic species are species that are found only in one specific place, in the case of St. Martin, our island. Endemic species frequently occur on islands, were an ancestral population arrives from nearby and develops in isolation. As they adapt to the different environment of their new home, they gradually evolve to be distinct from the population they originally came from.

This leaf-mimic katydid is found only on St. Martin.

This leaf-mimic katydid is found only on St. Martin.

You will be able to see these fascinating insects at the Birds & Bugs event on December 7th. At the event there will be a Bug Discovery Station where you can see a variety of live insects, spiders and other invertebrates and learn more about them. For more information about this free event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427136514175790/ and http://ass.lesfruitsdemer.org/events/

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 26 Nov 2013 22:34

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