katydid far from home?
Last summer two male katydids courted a female above my front door for a couple of weeks, which was really exciting because I live in Vancouver, Canada – not exactly prime katydid territory. I spent hours trying to identify their species, researching them online, using taxonomic keys, and comparing ovipositors, but I kept getting stumped when it came down to species’ range maps. Based on anatomy alone, I was 99% sure that our visitors were drumming katydids (Meconema thalassinum), despite the fact that all the information I’d found on the species puts their range about 3500km east of here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a clear enough photo to submit to you (unless you can id blurry green blobs) and so the best I could do was to reassure myself that I’d identified them correctly. Well, lo and behold, a lone male has appeared in the same spot again this year and I have a brand new zoom lens for my camera. I’d be really grateful if you could confirm that this IS a drumming katydid and if so, how rare the species is out here. I mean, should I be calling up the local entomology department to have them document the find? Or is the info I’ve found totally out of date & these guys are really common in BC? Thanks so much! You guys rock!
We also believe your identification of the Drumming Katydid is correct. There is a near identical match on BugGuide and the range is listed as Southern New England. Why is it in Vancouver? Global Warming? Possible accidental introduction? We think you should check with local experts and we will inquire with Eric Eaton if he has an opinion on the matter. Thanks for sending in your photo and story. Eric Eaton has verified the identification: “Yes, it is a drumming katydid (male), and its occurence should probably be reported to provincial agriculture authorities, eh? Seriously, it may be of interest to BC entomologists.”