This morning we met a new friend (the Katydid) a leaf-like insect native to Kruger National Park and surrounds. Their camouflage help protect them against predators such as birds. Their quite frighting-looking, but actually very gentile. They like to live in bushed areas such as forests and mountains and they rarely choose to fly.
This afternoon when we passed the same area it was still there… Quite amazing, it was then I decided he/she was made to be photographed. The behavior of these bugs are hard to monitor and it’s known they use their long antennae to find food and attract a mate.
During the daytime their are generally inactive and can be seen stationary upon leaves and bushes. They mainly eat vegetation but some can be found to be predatory and feast upon smaller bugs and insects. The males have sound producing organs and these are used to produce an extremely high pitched noise to call for a female. It’s believed to be one of the loudest insects in existence.
Female Katydids have long sword-like egg-laying organs (the ovipositor). Their eggs are long and narrow and are laid in rotting wood to grow into offspring. Another interesting fact is that these creatures are believed to have the biggest testes of any animal recorded. The male’s testes can account for up to 14% of their body weight!
We await young scientist who will join us on tour and study these insects!