What’s with the outdoor ruckus each night starting at sunset and going all night? It’s not a Cicada! It’s a Katydid! What is a Katydid? It’s a bug that makes its home in Central Texas and is sometimes called a Longhorned Grasshopper because of its unusually long antenna.
The proper name is a ‘Central Texas Leaf Katydid.’ They range in length from 1.5 inches to a whopping 5 inches long! The particular breed running around our neighborhood (Walsh Trails) is around the 2.5 inch range. In other words, THEY’RE HUGE! And they have wings that resemble leaves making them very hard to spot in the wild. I happened to see some of them taking shelter under the soffits of our house.
The body of the Katydid looks large but in reality the bulk of the body is formed by wings which are cupped to create a large hollow cavity which amplifies their raspy song we hear each night which is generated from rubbing their wings together. And they are called Leaf Katydid’s, not because they look like leaves but, because they eat the leaves of shrubs and trees, more especially, Oak Trees, but rarely do harm.