Pink Katydid
I have always looked at katydid as a type of food for mantis, and seldom pay much attention to them. But my interest with katydid
started back in 2 years ago when i had a chance to keep carnivorous katydid N. spinosa.
Pink katydid is actually a species of katydid that usually comes in green color. The scientific name for this species is Amblycorypha
oblongifolia
(De Geer 1773), a species of katydid native to Texas, and also most of the eastern part of the USA. The common name of
this species is oblong-winged katydid, it is the pink one from this species that carries the name pink katydid.
The reason these katydid is pink is due to a condition called erythrism. A genetic mutations causing the lack of normal pigment
(green). Green is the most common color for this species, pink is rare, and orange is ultra rare. It is amazing how katydid with pink
color ever survived in the wild due to the outstanding coloration. The pink color however becomes a great attraction for exhibition or
display.
The katydid feed on variety of greens. I have been feeding the katydid with romaine lettuce, rose leaves, and peach leaves. The katydid
can strip a plant clean in short period of time and do need fresh greens often, probably once every other day. In was unclear if this
species is considered a pest or not but certainly a pink one would be hard to miss in the wild, and probably too attractive to be
considered a pest! A waste if it is to be used as a feeder, although i am sure predator preying on katydid would find them irresistible
too.
A fresh set of rose leaves
Rose leaves eaten by pink katydid
It is not difficult to identify gender for this species, especially during later stage katydid. A female katydid has a long ovipositor while
male doesn't.
Male on the left and female on the right, notice
the ovipositor for the female. Specimens are
subadult.
Subadult female pink katydid
Same as any other katydid, they molt in order to grow. Molting is not always 100% successful. Although so far all my pink katydids
survive the molt, one small katydid didn't manage to molt out in good shape.
Successful molt
Less successful molt - resulting in crooked
hinglegs.
There is always not a guarantee in breeding katydid with genetic mutation. I hope the katydid could breed for another generation. At
least for now keeping them in group won't result in cannibalism! Wish me luck!