Ecuador surely must be one of the most species rich countries for katydids (Tettigoniidae). You hear them at night in their multitudes but, you never really see them until you "fire-up" a Mercury vapor light in search of moths.
That's when every conceivable shape, design, or form of these cryptically colored creatures makes its presence known.
I could not help myself but, take 6 or maybe 8 of the "coolest" looking ones; even though Lepidoptera is what I was there for...
Below, I offer up the largest species which I have personally ever encountered -- much less caught. You can hold it in your open hand and it will fill it !
It was also a somewhat "weighty" creature all full of those good leaves it had eaten. Really, a marvelous thing to behold (in life) and in your hand.
For the most part it has held up remarkably well color-wise; though still a far cry from when it was alive. However, I "treasure" it for the experience it gave to me and for the fond memories of Ecuador which it evokes when I look upon it !
Another marvel of katydid form/function is this incredible specimen which my friend captured in Ecuador as well !
It possesses THE longest "spatulate" ovipositor which I have ever seen on a katydid species. Its wingspan is just about 5 inches. Also, the funny thing is that he never saw another one (like it) in the 10 days he was there !
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2020 23:51:28 GMT -8 by trehopr1
Back in about 1982 I was traveling with several collectors in western Ecuador. We stopped at a gas station and observed two insects sitting very high up on a white-painted wall, far out of reach of any net we had along. They were a gigantic Thysania agrippina moth, and one of these huge katydids. My collector-friend Charles Watson found an empty 55-gallon oil drum, placed it at the foot of the wall, climbed on it with the longest hairstreak net he had, and took a swipe at the huge noctuid. But it flew at the last instant, crossed the highway, and was taken in flight by some large bird that came out of nowhere! I can still hear in my mind that audible "whap" that sounded when the bird hit the moth.
That left the katydid, which Watson successfully netted. Second choice obviously, but still a neat catch.
More recently I've had these things (katydids, not agrippina) come to a moth sheet in western Costa Rica.