Let’s have a little fun, a little learning and a little YIKES! today with the KATYDID:
The Katydid is an insect related to grasshoppers and crickets… but is distinguished by its very unique mating call.
If you head out at nightfall on a hot summer’s night and stand very, very still, you might hear the male Katydid calling, “Katy did. Katy didn’t. Katy did. Katy didn’t.”
The male Katydid sings his song by rubbing one of his wings along the toothed edge at the bottom of the other wing. This method of communication is called stridulation.
But why does the male Katydid call Katy did. Katy didn’t. Katy did. Katy didn’t?
Ah. As the legend goes, there was a little girl named Katy who told a supposed lie. Then she supposedly lied that she didn’t lie. This lie story when on an on for many years. After Katy died, the birds still debated whether Katy actually lied or did not lie. To this day, the birds still debate each night, “Katy did. Katy didn’t. Katy did. Katy didn’t.” Lie, that is.
And this is how the Katydid got its common name.
The Katydid’s scientific name is Tettigonia viridissima… but don’t you like the name and story Katydid a bit better?!
The Katydid has long, strong hind legs for its great jumping ability, and 4 wings that extend far beyond its body. The female has a long, sword-shaped ovipositor (organ at the rear end, near the abdomen) for depositing her eggs on leaves, twigs or crevices in bark.
The Katydid eats leaves off trees and shrubs, but does very little harm. Handled roughly, though, the Katydid has been known to bite. YIKES!
Introduce your kids and grandkids to the Katydid. Tell of its nightly debate about the little girl named Katy. Why not sneak outside some summer night at sunset and listen very carefully for the Katydid’s nightly debate/mating call. You decide for yourselves whether or not Katy did or Katy didn’t tell a lie.
Look very carefully for the Katydid… as its leaf-like appearance is a masterful camouflage. Have fun!
Join me here each day in June for JUNE BUGS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! Find a little fun, a little learning and a little YIKES!