Photo by Melody

Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia)

Order: Orthoptera (or-THOP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Tettigoniidae
Genus: Pterophylla (ter-oh-FIL-a) (Info)
Species: camellifolia (kam-ee-lee-ih-FOH-lee-a) (Info)


3 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Deer, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Citrus Heights, California
Englewood, Colorado
Bartow, Florida
Carrollton, Georgia
Peachtree City, Georgia
Divernon, Illinois
Galva, Illinois
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Valley Lee, Maryland
Warren, Michigan
Carson City, Nevada
Panama, New York
Ransomville, New York
Webster, New York
Belfield, North Dakota
Williamsburg, Ohio
Mcalester, Oklahoma
Miami, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
Germantown, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Madison, Tennessee
Aledo, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Whitesboro, Texas
Dammeron Valley, Utah
Independence, Virginia

By Magpye
Thumbnail #1 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #2 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #3 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #4 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #5 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Magpye

Thumbnail #6 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Magpye

By Joan

Thumbnail #7 of Common True Katydid (Pterophylla camellifolia) by Joan

There are a total of 28 photos.
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Member Notes:

Neutral Joan On Oct 7, 2006, Joan from Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a) wrote:

True katydids are flightless or nearly flightless inhabitants of crowns of deciduous trees in oak-hickory forests, parks, and yards. They are leaf green in color and range in length from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. The hind wings are shorter than the leathery, convex, and inflated front wings, which act as coverings known as tegmina. The green tegmina have prominent veins that closely mimic a leaf, including the midrib, and they enclose the abdomen. Most calling males seem to remain at approximately the same place in a tree throughout adult life. Individuals that are disturbed leap clumsily and parachute down to the ground. On the ground they are awkward and slow. They walk to a vertical surface, which they climb. During the first severe frosts of late autumn, they often fall to the ground

True Katydids are relatives of grasshoppers and crickets. They grow over two inches long and are leaf-green in color.

Katydids have oval-shaped wings with lots of veins. They resemble leaves.

True Katydids live in forests, thickets, or fields with lots of shrubs or trees. Katydids spend most of their time at the tops of trees where most of the leaves are.

Usually katydids are heard, but not seen.

Unlike grasshoppers and crickets, both male and female katydids make sounds. They rub their forewings (front wings) together to sing to each other. Katydid hear each other with ears on their front legs.

Breeding season is in late Summer and early Fall. Females will lay eggs on stems.

Eggs will hatch the following Spring into nymphs. Nymphs are young katydids not fully grown. Katydid nymphs eat and grow, molting their skin several times. Each time the nymph sheds its skin it looks more like an adult. Finally, after its last molt, the nymph has changed into an adult katydid.

True Katydids eat leaves of most deciduous (lose leaves in Fall) trees and shrubs, especially oaks.

Katydids can fly short distances when threatened, but they prefer to walk and climb. When they do fly, it is more of a downward flutter. If a katydid lands on the ground, it will walk to the nearest tree and climb.

Predators of True Katydids include birds, bats, spiders, frogs, snakes, and other insect-eaters.

Neutral pheitmeyer On Oct 23, 2006, pheitmeyer from Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b) wrote:

found one in my garden saturday. it was half dead on the wall. then my dog ate it.

Positive bt18 On Mar 22, 2009, bt18 from Union City, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:

I love the sound of the true katydid but unfortunately they are not heard where I live in central Oklahoma. But they are heard in the forested areas of central and eastern Oklahoma and are only a short drive away!

Positive tlsexton0913 On Jul 21, 2009, tlsexton0913 from Miami, OK
(Zone 6a) wrote:

We hear these bugs every night at the same time, but this was our first glance at them. They are the coolest looking bugs and seem to be very intelligent. We did catch it in a wide mouthed jar so that we could look closer at it. Since we are new to this area we are not sure what is harmful and what isn't. After "CAREFUL" observation, we then return the insects where we found them. We did learn that the katydid does not fly but glides from limb to limb, so we are not sure if it somehow accidentally got on our porch or that is where it wanted to be. We love the katydid and this one is back again tonight. We DID NOT catch it again, but rather left it to its own accord.

Positive K4CLE On Oct 23, 2009, K4CLE from Germantown, TN
(Zone 7b) wrote:

There is an old saying around here that "The first time you hear the Katydid's singing, it will frost 90 days later". This year, the Katydid's were singing very early in the spring time. And we have already had our first frost just a few days ago (October 18, 2009) - extremely early for this area. I have never counted the days since I first heard the Katydid's sing, but I have just noticed over the years that this saying must be pretty close to being true!

Neutral Artspace On Nov 17, 2009, Artspace from Dammeron Valley, UT wrote:

I found this insect eating my rose leaves and resting in the flower over a few days. A katydid? It did a lot of damage, but it's fall and time for leaf drop anyway. Zone 7, So. Utah

Neutral SamsonUganda On Jun 15, 2010, SamsonUganda from Boerne, TX wrote:

I live on a ranch in Hill Country Texas. I've heard these things all the time throughout my life. There's one large Live Oak out in the back yard (most other trees are Cedar/Juniper). It's about 20 feet tall, and I can easily hear hundreds of the Katydids in the top.

This year was the first time that I'd seen them on the walls outside my house.

As stated earlier, they do tend to stay in one place for days on end, perhaps their entire life cycle. Now, there are somewhere between 10 - 20 of them on windows, walls, even hanging under the awning of the roof (Next to a hornet's nest no less).

Most pictures I've seen are of green true katydids. I've seen mostly green, but also Golden brown, and a purple-ish, maroon-ish red (I've only seen two of those).

After extensive review of these creatures (Big words for having played with dozens of them) I've noted that they do actually have personalities. Weird. Many like to climb all over everything after they've been startled, but some like to "chirp" aggressively when startled. I found that quite interesting. Even when cupping my hands around them, they hopped up (maybe an inch or so) and chirped quite loudly.

And one bit me. It break skin, and it didn't hurt much (It felt like if you were to put your finger in a pair of needle nose pliers, and squeeze lightly for a second) but it did startle me. I've never heard of one biting people.

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