AskDefine | Define katydid

Dictionary Definition

katydid n : large green long-horned grasshopper of North America; males produce shrill sounds by rubbing together special organs on the forewings

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a US /ˈkeɪtiˌdɪd/


  1. A type of grasshopper, scientific name Tettigoniidae.



  • Dutch: sprinkhaan, sabelsprinkhaan

Extensive Definition

For the rock band Katydids, see Katydids (band). The family Tettigoniidae, known in American English as katydids and in British English as bush-crickets, contains more than 6,400 species. It is part of the suborder Ensifera and the only family in the superfamily Tettigonoidea. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are more closely related to crickets than to grasshoppers.
Tettigoniids may be distinguished from grasshoppers by the length of their antennae, which may exceed their own body length, while grasshoppers' antennae are always relatively short.
The name "katydid" comes from the sound produced by species of the North American genus Pterophylla (literally "winged leaf"). The males of katydids have sound-producing organs (via stridulation) located on the hind angles of their front wings, which in some species produce a sound thought to resemble the words "Katy did, Katy didn't", hence the name. In some species females are also capable of stridulation.
There are about 255 species in North America, but the majority of species live in the tropical regions of the world.
The diet of tettigoniids includes leaves, flowers, bark, and seeds, but many species are exclusively predatory, feeding on other insects, snails or even small vertebrates such as snakes and lizards. Some are also considered pests by commercial crop growers and are sprayed to limit growth. Large katydids can inflict a painful bite or pinch if handled but seldom break the skin.
The spike headed katydid is somewhat notorious for its plantlike appearance, which allows it to blend in with the vegetation on which it lives, and the spikes discourage potential predators.
The males provide a nuptial gift for the females in the form of a spermatophore, a nutritious body produced with the male's ejaculate.
katydid in Danish: Løvgræshoppe
katydid in Estonian: Ritsiklased
katydid in French: Tettigoniidae
katydid in Korean: 여치과
katydid in Lithuanian: Žiogai
katydid in Hungarian: Fürgeszöcskefélék
katydid in Japanese: キリギリス
katydid in Polish: Pasikonikowate
katydid in Portuguese: Tettigoniidae
katydid in Russian: Кузнечиковые
katydid in Finnish: Hepokatit
katydid in Swedish: Vårtbitare
katydid in Vietnamese: Họ Muỗm
katydid in Chinese: 螽斯科
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