Forest Katydid. A piece of Saint-Martin Wildlife

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 11 Jan 2014 19:26

Forest Katydid. A piece of Saint-Martin Wildlife

The most familiar katydids on the island are green with leaf-shaped wings, but in the forest there is a very different type of katydid.

The forest katydid (Nesonotus tricornis), is various shades of brown, with patterns that make it blend in on the bark of a tree trunk rather than on leafy branches. It is large, with a stocky, heavy body and shining green eyes.

This katydid feeds on leaves at night and spends its day hidden in the small hollows of tree trunks and branches. Sometimes their long antennae will be visible outside their hiding place, but they are best revealed with a flashlight. Immature forest katydids, known as nymphs, are often gray-brown and sit motionless on branches hoping to blend in.

Not much is known about this katydid species. It is native to the Caribbean, although related species also live in South America. Specimens from different islands (St. Martin, St. Barths, Saba and Statia) show variations in coloration, which perhaps correspond to differences in the vegetation on each island. However, these differences seem to be superficial and do not indicate that they are separate species.

The next time you are in the forest, bring a flashlight with you and see if you can find this interesting insect.

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA 11 Jan 2014 19:26
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