K is for Katydid

It’s an itty bitty katydid, an early ‘instar’ which means it recently hatched from its egg and is going through its growth by eating and shedding exoskeletons. It’s on a magnolia petal, for size estimations.

We squirrels want to share that K is a hard letter in nature. Local nature, at least. And now that we posted that, please feel free to write us with your suggestions! Miz Flora looked up wildflowers and of the few, none worked…meaning we had no photos of them. Trees, there is one, which doesn’t live around here and one shrub that we used last year. Birds…like Killdeer, again, no photos. Sigh.

Katydid Instar, perhaps

This is the label I found on another photo during my internet search. I decided it fits this insect hiding in a magnolia flower.

I don’t profess to be a bug expert. I like them for a quick protein snack, same as every other squirrel, but we aren’t too picky.

Anyway, an instar is what scientists call the stages between an insect’s molts—the shedding of their exoskeletons as they grow. This young one doesn’t have the hump you see on a mature katydid’s back, but neither did any of the other instar photos I looked at. His long antennae and red feet match identified katydids. If any of you human readers have a positive identification, or even a half-positive one, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Even without the correct identification, I still enjoyed seeing this little guy’s bright green body in the flower. Better yet, I’ll enjoy hearing his adult song, ‘kaydid-katydidn’t’ serenade me to sleep.