North American Katydids

list of species keys home help
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true katydids
false katydids
meadow katydids
coneheaded katydids
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shield-backed katydids
hump-winged grigs
quiet-calling katydids
stick katydids
Representative species of the eight major groups of North American katydids [key to major groups]
A quick way to find pages for katydid subfamilies, genera, and species is to jump to the checklist and look for links.
If a genus name lacks a link, the page for that genus is still under construction.

Katydid classifications

Taxonomists have many schemes for classifying katydids (Tettigonioidea). The one used here is to put all except the "hump-winged grigs" (Haglidae) into the family Tettigoniidae and to divide the North American species of Tettigoniidae among seven subfamilies. Two of the seven, Conocephalinae (meadow katydids) and Copiphorinae (coneheads), are often merged into a more broadly defined Conocephalinae. On the other hand, the katydids that are here placed in the subfamily Tettigoniinae (shieldbacks and allies) are sometimes divided among three subfamilies. As with the crickets, taxonomists agree on the natural groupings of North American species, but they disagree on how the groups should be ranked in the hierarchy of taxonomic categories.


Bailey WJ, Rentz DCF, editors.1990. The Tettigoniidae: biology, systematics and evolution. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 395 p.

Blatchley WS. 1920. Orthoptera of northeastern America. Indianapolis, IN: Nature Publishing. 784 p. Pages 453-458 (introduction to katydids and keys to subfamilies). PDF files of Blatchley's treatments of the katydid subfamiles that he recognized are accessible on these SINA pages: Phaneropterinae, Pseudophyllinae, Copiphorinae, Conocephalinae, Tettigoniinae. (The introductory pages to Blatchley's book are accessible on SINA's home page.)

Fulton BB. 1933. Stridulating organs of female Tettigoniidae (Orthoptera). Entomol. News 44: 270-275.

Gwynne DT. 2001. Katydids and bush-crickets, reproductive behavior and evolution of the Tettigoniidae. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univerisity Press. 317 p.

Hebard M. 1939. Studies in Orthoptera which occur in North America north of the Mexican boundary. X. New and critical notes on previously known Tettigoniidae. Trans Amer Entomol Soc 65:161-83, 3 pl.

Isely FB. 1941. Researches concerning Texas Tettigoniidae. Ecological Monographs 11: 457-475.

Otte D. 1997. Orthoptera species file 7. Tettigonioidea. Philadelphia: Orthopterists' Soc and Acad Nat Sci Phila. 373 p. (A web version of this, by D. Otte, D. C. Eades, and P. Naskrecki, is continually updated.)

The table below indicates stages of completion of the pages for North American katydids.
yes = initial draft posted     inc = incomplete     no = not started
subfamily (or family) maps photos drawings songs text key refs
Conocephalinae - meadow katydids yes yes yes yes inc yes yes
Copiphorinae - coneheaded katydids yes yes yes yes inc yes yes
Prophalangopsidae - hump-winged grigs yes yes yes yes yes -- yes
Meconematinae - quiet-calling katydids yes yes yes yes yes -- yes
Phaneropterinae - false katydids yes yes yes yes no yes yes
Pseudophyllinae - true katydids yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Saginae - stick katydids yes -- yes -- yes -- yes
Tettigoniinae - shield-backed katydids yes yes yes yes inc inc yes