Katydid backlit by the morning sun. Note the shadowy body beneath the huge folded wings—much smaller than you might guess.
This fine looking green fellow was perched atop one of the tiki torches near the deck yesterday morning. Though it was only a few feet from where I sat sipping coffee, I first mistook it for a leaf fallen from the big box elder. That it wasn't the right size or shape, or even the right color green for a box elder leaf, did not penetrate my caffeine-starved brain for several embarrassingly long moments. But eventually, either logical awareness or chemical rejuvenation kicked in and the "leaf" resolved itself into a living creature.
Katydid! I muttered to myself, as smugly pleased as if the realization process had been instantaneous.
Frontlit, as viewed from the other side, you can now barely discern the small body hidden beneath the translucent green wings.
Actually, I'm not sure whether "katydid" is precisely correct or not, when it comes to what to call this insect. Katydids, crickets, shieldbacks, and anglewings are sort of one big vaguely obscure group to me. The general prototypes are easy enough—though I couldn't key even those down without a good reference guide. But when you get to some of the bugs on the fringes of the various genera, there seems to be overlap in what I'm looking at (Is it one of these, or one of those?) and at that point I'm totally lost.
I think this is one of the Round-Headed Katydids—possibly an Oblong-Winged Katydid, though it could alternately be a Clicker Round-Winged Katydid, a Rattler Round-Winged Katydid, a Common Virtuosos Katydid, or some other species member of the Round-Headed classification. I would have had a better shot at a firm I.D. if the katydid had favored me with a bit of song. Maybe—though I'm no better at differentiating the screechy sawing of katydid tunes than I am at distinguishing the insect on sight. Still, it would have been an important piece to solving the puzzle.
Now here's the kicker…providing my labeling of this insect as being a member of the Round-Headed Katydid clan is correct, that means, in the mystifying argot of the bug world, it's not a "true katydid" but a "false katydid," though still a katydid. And no, I can't make sense or explain this doublespeak either.
I could, however, take the katydid's (true, false, or undecided) portrait, thanks to my camera's auto-focus function—though I can't tell for sure if these images are crisp or not.
[For those of you wondering…yes, I'm still having vision problems with the progressive-focus contacts lenses. I was at the optometrist's much of the morning today, and have to go back for some additional measurements and tests tomorrow morning. New lenses will then be ordered from California, and I should have them by the first of the week for a new trial. In the meantime, I'm still struggling with the same reading, focusing, perspective and general vision issues that I whined about in my previous post. The saga continues…]