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Meety Kadydid

Not a grasshopper, not a cricket, not a cicada, this bright green North American Insect is a Kadydid, responsible for a unique comforting sound on warm late summer nights. Even hear crickets at night? Sure. But listen closely, sometimes you will hear a familiar rasping "kadydid/kadaydidn't" sound in addition to the crickets. That's one of the North American Kadydids. There are 250 North American species but they are many many more in tropical regions.

These insects, often called bush crickets, produce the rasping sound as a mating call in North America by rubbing their wings together. If you're lucky enough to see one, they are often bright green in the Midwest and can get fairly large. Their back legs are very pronounced and while they look like crickets, the back legs are a telling difference. Kadydids have huge back legs! And they can jump but they possess strong wings and often launch themselves into flight when disturbed. Their antennae are also much longer than either a cricket or a grasshopper and they are usually found in trees and shrubs instead of on the ground. They are usually active at night and very well camouflaged among the leaves.

These large insects eat plants here in the upper midwest and are no threat to people. They mate in late summer, lay eggs and then next spring the young emerge. The young look similar to the adults but are actually nymphs' and will molt or shed their skin several times before they develop into their adult form. They next time you are listening to the crickets at night, listen for the late summer rasp of the kadydid.

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