Yesterday was a cool, grey day, the kind of weather that’s ideal for “chore” gardening. The Ranchero gets majorly overgrown by holiday time, so I yanked at least 50% of the crowns of thorns and all but two oyster plants. Next, I’d hoped to prune the dead leaves from my Agave, but was stopped in my tracks by this:
Let me start by saying I’m just NOT a bug person! Embarrassing as this is for a Master Gardener, bugs (of any kind) send me running in the opposite direction… I literally jumped three feet at the sight of this one….then started taking pictures (thank you, telephoto lens!!)
Note the loonnnnggggg filamentous antennae that extend from the tip of the “nose” and curl beneath the insect’s body. (For a better look, click the picture to enlarge it)
As I researched my new “friend,” I realized I’d read about this bug–a Katydid–a million times: I just hadn’t seen one in person, nor did I associate the face to the name. This species, Microcentrum Rhombifolium, is common in Florida, and well camouflaged for feasting on citrus leaves with a body that looks identical to it’s very food! Although sometimes confused with grasshoppers, katydids behave more like crickets, making noise at night..especially during mating season:
As you know, tonight is New Year’s Eve!
In keeping with this insect-themed post, let me take this opportunity to remind you:
.If you go out tonight, use good judgment!
If you’re in recovery and tonight’s hard for you, use this resource for Narcotics Anonymous or this one for Alcoholics Anonymous. The voice on the other end of the line wiil direct you to the meeting or 24hr Alkathon nearest to your location.
🙂 🙂 Until next time….
- Rainforest katydids evolved mammal-like ears (sciencenews.org)