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Are There Katydids in Arizona? – Phoenix

Close-up of a katydid.

Elegant Bush Katydid

The Elegant Bush Katydid is most commonly seen in the Sonora Desert during the monsoon season.  They look like grasshoppers and are often called long horned grasshoppers because of how long their antennas are.  Unlike grasshoppers, however, they do not jump.  Instead they are slow and prefer to climb trees and other types of vegetation.  Katydids make very distinct sounds to attract females by rubbing their wings together.   You can hear them during the monsoon season much like you can hear crickets.  The life cycle of a katydid is classified as a simple metamorphosis because they hatch from their eggs in nymph form, meaning that they look just like an adult except without their wings yet.  It can take several months for them to grow to their full size and acquire their wings.

When solitary, katydids don’t pose much of a threat.  However, in large numbers they can cause large amounts of damage to flora and fauna.  Luckily there are ways to control katydid populations.  Professional pest control is the best way to eradicate these garden pests; it is extremely difficult to remove them without the proper tools and training.

Katydid Damage

Katydids are considered to be garden pests, and they are leaf eaters.  They especially love nibbling on leaves, flower petals, and sprouts.  Their favorite plants to feed off of are citrus trees.  If they start eating off of immature citrus trees it can greatly harm the tree, which is a problem in Arizona because of the high number of citrus trees throughout the state.  Sometimes they can even go so far as to eat the peel off of the citrus fruit.  When there is damage done to the fruit it cannot be sold, which can be a huge problem for citrus farmers.

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