Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Katydid nymph on prairie fleabane daisy

with 41 comments

Katydid nymph on Prairie Fleabane Daisy 0279

Prairie fleabane daisy = Erigeron modestus.

Place: Bluegrass Dr.

Date: April 4.

Update: BugGuide.net has identified this as a katydid in the subfamily Phaneropterinae

© Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2016 at 6:51 AM

41 Responses

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  1. What a caprure, my friend. They make such piercing sounds in the evening. Our whole neighborhood just rings with their performances. Must like Locust!

    elmdriveimages

    April 21, 2016 at 7:23 AM

    • I’m not sure what Katy did or didn’t do, but what Steve did is take a picture. Glad you like it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2016 at 7:31 AM

  2. What a great photo. I do enjoy those long antennae — they remind me of the ancient practice of adjusting antennae on top of the tv set. The number of small creatures of every sort living in and around these flowers really is amazing.

    shoreacres

    April 21, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    • I remember those V-shaped antennae on top of early black and white televisions. Compared to other places, New York was luxurious in its variety of channels: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. Count them among the creatures living on in the continued flowering of my mind.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2016 at 7:43 AM

  3. Great capture, to get just that moment. But also great composition.

    Pit

    April 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    • That long antenna, which I didn’t want to cut short, forced the off-center placement of the fleabane daisy. For uniformity I could have darkened the amorphous green area along the bottom right margin of the frame, but it serves as a visual echo of the insect’s color. Eventually my subject jumped away, but not before I was able to take several pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2016 at 8:07 AM

      • The off-centre position is just what I really like about the composition.

        Pit

        April 21, 2016 at 8:09 AM

        • Just call me eccentric (= ex-centric, i.e. off-center).

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 21, 2016 at 8:11 AM

          • LOL
            That’s a good one!

            Pit

            April 21, 2016 at 8:13 AM

            • I can’t take any credit for wordplay because that really is the etymology of eccentric. I used to teach it to my math students when we studied the conic sections (ellipses, parabolas, hyperbolas), which are distinguished from one another by their mathematical eccentricity.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 21, 2016 at 8:23 AM

              • 🙂

                Pit

                April 21, 2016 at 8:25 AM

                • ☀︎☁︎ (It’s raining here now.)

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 21, 2016 at 8:39 AM

                • The thunderstorm seems to have passed. We got about an inch in maybe 3 hours. Our creek is running quite well again.

                  Pit

                  April 21, 2016 at 9:06 AM

                • Happy creek to you. The rain here is now letting up and the sky on the horizon is beginning to brighten.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 21, 2016 at 10:53 AM

                • 🙂

                  Pit

                  April 21, 2016 at 11:03 AM

  4. Two of my favorites…fleabane and katydid nymphs (almost impossible to ID without genitalia dissection, at least with most species of nymphs…I don’t want to know that badly)..

    Steve Gingold

    April 21, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    • I know little about katydids. In fact I wasn’t even sure this is one. As for your suggested criteria for identifying them, I was just reading in James Gleick’s The Information about TMI, which would apply here as far as you and I are concerned.

      I’m with you in my fondness for fleabane daisies. Now if only there were a chiggerbane daisy that lived up to its name I’d be ecstatic. With all the rain we’ve been having (including right now as I type this), the chiggers will soon be out in force.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2016 at 9:21 AM

      • The TMI part doesn’t bother me so much as the effect it would have on the nymph.

        Steve Gingold

        April 21, 2016 at 10:33 AM

        • One would hope for the sake of the nymph that it was no longer among the living.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 21, 2016 at 10:50 AM

          • Well, I would imagine it is killed when collected and that is the part where I say I don’t need to know that badly. Although I understand the appeal, I’ve never been one for killing insects for a collection (with the exception of one month about 30 years ago) although I do understand the value in understanding species populations and the sacrifice of a few for the good of the many.

            Steve Gingold

            April 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM

            • Sacrificing a few for the good of the many is the way some insects behave. I’m thinking about ants and colony-forming bees.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM

              • Most large grouping of any animal is for safety in numbers. The few sacrifice on the outer limits, or the weaker, for the many. And sometimes the greater number actually wins which really has nothing to do with your image, but I am good at going off on tangents some times.

                Steve Gingold

                April 21, 2016 at 11:49 AM

                • That’s funny. Having taught trigonometry, I’m disposed to going off on tangents.

                  Last month I saw rafts comprising thousands of fire ants clumping together in an attempt to avoid getting drowned when a lake spread onto land that had been dry.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 21, 2016 at 12:11 PM

                • Did that work out for them. I guess drowning fire ants don’t get much sympathy.

                  Steve Gingold

                  April 21, 2016 at 12:15 PM

                • It did seem to be working out for them—alas. Even wearing hip-high boots in the water and paying attention to where I walked I managed to get a few fire ant bites.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM

  5. Perfect. Nothing else to say.

    Sherry Lynn Felix

    April 21, 2016 at 9:20 AM

  6. What a cutie! Incidentally, it turns out these can get enormous. One day I came across one in my garden that was nearly 4″, stem to stern. His wings looked just like leaves. I suspect they spend their time in the canopy~perhaps mine had been blown down in a storm.

    melissabluefineart

    April 21, 2016 at 10:32 AM

  7. Some funny comments! I had to LOL at the comment about the ancient practice of adjusting antennae. I hear the word “vintage” used more and more often! haha.
    I love the photo! Maybe fleabane is a misnomer! 😉

    Dianne

    April 21, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    • One thing’s for sure: I never flee fleabane, which is a boon rather than a bane for a nature photographer. And yes, there’s something of a vogue for vintage, which originally had to do with wine but now can apply to anything. In any case, I’m glad you like this portrait.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 21, 2016 at 3:47 PM

  8. Now that’s really cool!

    montucky

    April 21, 2016 at 10:17 PM

  9. We get katydids here too. They get quite large and seem to enjoy munching on my roses! Nice shot Steve

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    April 22, 2016 at 5:09 PM

  10. […] BugGuide has also identified the nymph you saw three days ago as being a katydid in the subfamily […]

  11. […] The background halo in this view from April 4 along Bluegrass Dr. was a prairie fleabane daisy, Erigeron modestus, a species you last saw acting as a perch for a katydid nymph. […]


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