Katy Did. Katy Didn't.

Jul 9, 2010

As a child growing up in Washington state, I received an entomological nickname.


My father, in a take-off of the name, Kate, affectionately called me "Katydid."

Katy did. Katy didn't.

Maybe Katy did. Maybe Katy didn't.

Whatever, I've always loved the sounds of katydids performing their nighttime concerts, or rather, their mating calls. (Listen to the sounds; lean back, close your eyes, and you can almost hear "Katy did. Katy didn't.")

Scientists classify katydids in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Orthoptera, and family Tettigoniidae. 

Agriculturists consider them pests; stone fruit growers try to eradicate them from their orchards. 

So, was I surprised last week to see a katydid tucked inside one of our pomegranate blossoms. Honey bees, yes. Leafcutter bees, yes. Sweat bees, yes.

But a katydid? 

At first glance, the green critter resembled an exotic Walt Disney cartoon character: long, awkward-looking hind legs; long, threadlike antennae; and beady eyes.

Yes, a katydid. A juvenile.

Maybe, just maybe, we'll someday hear the sounds of "Katy did. Katy didn't." 

Maybe Katy will. Maybe Katy won't.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

JUVENILE KATYDID tucked inside a pomegranate blossom. The long awkward-looking hind legs and long threadlike antennae make it look like a Walt Disney cartoon character. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


CLOSE-UP of a juvenile katydid, member of the longhorned grasshopper family Tettigoniidae, order Orthoptera. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)