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The Common True Katydid

This very loud species sent the early settlers of eastern North America into a panic. They could not imagine what would be causing all of the noise in the woods around them.
There are three races; Northern, Southeastern and Southwestern. While all of these races are considered a single species their songs are very distinct. The Northern race sings the well known "ka-ty-did" song in an unhurried manor. The Southeastern race adds a syllable sound more like, "ka-ty-did-n't." This song is given rapidly and songs follow one another after a very brief pause. Finally, the South-western race sings a simple one or two syllabled song sounding like, "ka-ty, ka-ty, kat." A chorus of Southwestern's sounds more like frogs singing than katydids.

Common true katydids do not fly. They can be seen walking along the ground in large numbers especially in the southeast. In the Northeast they appear to be fond of Sassafras and Oak trees. Large colonies develop and one group of males will synchronize their songs and alternate singing with a neighboring group of males that are synchronized with each other. This produces a powerful pulsating chorus that can be overwhelming. No wonder the early settlers were so concerned when the woods around them burst forth in this amazing cacophony in late summer.

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Common True Katydid
File and Scaper
Female with ovipositor