Posts Tagged ‘Handsome Meadow Katydid’

Perhaps the old adage that “opposites attract” applies to grasshoppers too. When I photographed this intimate moment on a leaf, I couldn’t figure out for sure what was going on.

Perhaps the grasshopper was attracted by the bright colors of the Handsome Meadow Katydid and was trying to start a conversation.  Maybe this was a blind date set up by some well-intentioned friends. Is it possible they matched on a lot of points in the insect version of Match.com?

I have photographed grasshoppers and katydids separately, but this is the first time I have them both in a single image. It is fascinating to be able to compare the bodies of the two species and note the differences in the eyes, the legs, and many other parts.

The striking colors of the Handsome Meadow Katydid have always drawn my attention, but I am left with one question to ponder. Do grasshoppers even see in color or only in shades of gray?


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

As was watching this Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum) through my viewfinder,  it suddenly arched its body and assumed a position worthy of an world-class gymnast or yoga master. What was it doing?


My first thought was that the katydid was merely stretching, getting ready for the day’s activities. When you jump around as much as these insects do, you can’t risk a pulled muscle or other injury by not warming up properly.

Over the past year, this rainbow-colored katydid has become my favorite insect, but I confess that I don’t much about their anatomy. Looking over my photos, I realized that I needed to identify the orange-colored body part, a part that I don’t recall observing before, in order to figure out what was going on. What could it possibly be?


Well, it looks like this katydid probably is a female and the orange-colored thing is her ovipositor, the organ used for depositing eggs. So, is she depositing eggs in the photos? I am not sure.

A University of Arkansas website describes the ovipositing for a similar katydid with these words, “An ovipositing female embraces a plant stem with her prothoracic and mesothoracic legs and brings the curved and sword-like ovipositor far forward so its tip can scrape the substrate.” It’s not really helpful when the explanation contains so many words with which I am unfamiliar. I think that I will leave this kind of science to the scientists.

As a photographer, I continue to be amazed by the multi-colored beauty of this fascinating insect and especially by its alluring blue eyes. I know that it’s an illusion, but those eyes often seem to be looking right at me. I’m not sure if this Handsome Meadow Katydid is depositing eggs in these photos, but I am sure that  I like the images a lot, including the final image, which shows the katydid in a more “normal” position following her brief series of gymnastics.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Looking into a Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), I immediately noticed the distinctive colors of a Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum), feeding on the center stalk of the flower.

The katydid did not move from its position and merely cocked its head a little to the side and glanced up at me with its striking blue eyes. It seemed to be a little irritated to be disturbed, though I must confess that it’s really hard to gauge the emotions of an insect from its expressions.

The Handsome Meadow Katydid is one of my favorite insects and, in my humble opinion, truly deserves its name. In addition to its rainbow coloration and distinctive eyes, it has the cutest little feet and toes.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Let me introduce you to the coolest-looking insect I have ever encountered, the Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum), an insect that I photographed this past weekend at my local marsh. The name just seems to fit the insect perfectly, unlike so many other insects that seem to have been named almost randomly.

I still recall the first time that I encountered a Handsome Meadow Katydid last summer and the resulting double take—I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. The bright colors of the body were astonishing and seemed so unreal that one of my friends wondered if I had colorized the photo.

It’s the eyes, though, that make this insect so attractive for me. There is just something so alluring about those blue eyes, eyes that I don’t expect to see in an insect.

I got some pretty good shots of Handsome Meadow Katydids last year, but was growing concerned that I would not see many this year (you can tell it’s a katydid, in part, because of the length of the antennae). I actually heard this katydid before I saw it. I was passing by a small bush and hear a kind of vibrating sound. I put my ear closer and closer to the plant and finally spotted the source.

I had to go pretty wide in cropping the shot, because the katydid was stretched out along the small branch. Click on the image if you want see a higher resolution view of the photo, including those amazing eyes.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Do you have a favorite insect? I realize that’s a strange question and, if pressed, most people would respond with the name of a beautiful butterfly or perhaps a ladybug, but my favorite is a very special katydid.

Last summer, though, I fell in love with a multi-colored grasshopper-like insect called the Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum). I was absolutely thrilled yesterday to encounter and photograph a tiny insect that is almost certainly one a juvenile Handsome Meadow Katydid.

Although its colors are pretty distinctive, it’s the blue eyes that make it really stand out. The eyes really draw me in, even if they do look a little cartoonish.

Each time I visit the marsh, I will now be on the lookout for these insects, which actually grow more handsome as they age. If you want to see what they look like as adults check out my previous postings called Neon-colored grasshopper; More Handsome Meadow Katydids; and Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back.

Be forewarned, though, that you too may fall in love and end up with a new favorite insect.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Several years ago I saw one of the Cirque du Soleil productions, an event full of dazzling costumes and amazing acrobatic feats. Memories of that unforgettable experience were triggered when I first viewed this photo of another Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum) at Huntley Meadows Park. I have previously posted a number of different images of this very photogenic insect, but this one shows my beautiful friend in action, rather than in a static pose.

Acrobatic Handsome Meadow Katydid

I recall how the acrobats of the Cirque du Soleil were suspended high in mid-air, holding on (often with what seemed to be a single toe) to a trapeze or to a slender rope. My little katydid is not risking his life in that way, but I do find it amazing how he is clinging to the single stalk of grass. His brilliant colors continue to amaze me and the red blotches on his face accentuate the circus-like effect, as you can see in this close-up view of his face.

Close-up view of a Handsome Meadow Katydid

I will be a little sad when I stop seeing my colorful little friends at Huntley Meadows Park, but the memories will remain. Perhaps  in the future, some brightly colored object or acrobatic pose will trigger memories of these katydids, nature’s own Cirque du Soleil.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I still can’t get over the striking blue eyes of a Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum), so I am posting a shot from yesterday that highlights that feature (and my apologies to Frank Sinatra for borrowing the title of his 1973 album for this post).

The katydid almost seemed to be looking right up at me, perhaps wondering why I am disturbing him. I find the details of his feet to be utterly fascinating and I’ve made sure that you can see some of the many neon-like colors of his body.

Check out some of my other postings if this is your first encounter with this gorgeous katydid. You’re almost certain to fall in love with him too.

Ol’ Blue Eyes (Handsome Meadow Katydid)

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »