If you're not quite sure what bug you're looking at, read below for help in identifying the katydid insect. In the quiet stillness of the night, the sound “Katy did, Katy did, Katy didn’t,” suddenly rings out. The male katydid is sending out his mating call. They sing by rubbing one wing along the toothed edge at the bottom of the other wing, a method called stridulation. A female katydid looking for romance will answer his song.
Katydid is an insect related to crickets and grasshoppers. They have the same strong large hind legs and can jump. They are also identified by their thin delicate antennae and the hooked sword like organ called an ovipositor. This is the egg-laying structure of the female. They laid eggs in rows of two on twigs. The eggs are flat and gray to brown in color.
The katydid can be one to five inches depending of the individual species. The antennae are two or three times the length of the body. They have four wings that are folded length wise when at rest. The wings are delicate and extend far beyond the body. They hear through ears known as tympana located on their front legs. They are nocturnal and eat leaves, flowers, the stems, and fruits of many plants and trees. Katydids will also eat other insects.
The average katydid is green, although some will also have brown markings. However you can find species that are gray, tan, brown, or even pink. Their color and leaf-like appearance make them masters of camouflage. They are hard to see, but their song gives them away.
There are many legends about their song. One is that a girl called Katy murdered her cheating boyfriend and the other woman. Another story is that Katy and her husband were found dead in their cottage. There was no evidence. But the village thought Katy did it. The insects agreed with the verdict. They spread the word that "Katy did it.! Katy did it."