Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Katydid nymph on yucca flower

with 25 comments

Katydid Nymph on Yucca Flower 5892

Click for greater clarity and size.

For the second post in a row, here’s a view from the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin. The picture, which dates back to June 20, 2013, shows what I think is the nymph of a katydid, but if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up. The petal is definitely that of a yucca, probably Yucca rupicola. If you’d like an overview of how that species looks when it’s flowering, you can skip back to another post from 2013.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2018 at 4:30 AM

25 Responses

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  1. I like the fact that you were able to include two words in your title, Steve, that are simply fun to say aloud. I don’t know why, but I smile every time that I say “katydid” and “yucca.” I love the image too and the way that the antenna arcs gracefully across the photo.

    Mike Powell

    June 20, 2018 at 6:07 AM

  2. This is a fun shot, of a great-looking character, somehow looks mischievous, and I’m guessing it’s pulling in stations from all over, AM and FM. It reminded me of Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio” (“I understand just a little, No comprende, it’s a riddle”) (OK, so Shakespeare it ain’t, but it’s a catchy song!)
    I know it’s a different plant, but “yucca” to me always prompts “yuca” (manioc), which I ate by the pound in the Dominican Republic, and not eager to eat again.

    Robert Parker

    June 20, 2018 at 8:42 AM

    • You’re imagination’s on high alert this morning, what with all those AM and FM stations getting pulled in. You’ve reminded me that as a teenager on Long Island I was fascinated when atmospheric vagaries let me occasionally tune in to an AM station from far away. Two that I remember are KDKA in Pittsburgh and WLS in Chicago.

      Long before I knew about yucca I was eating yuca (gratefully not by the pound), thanks to my two years (1968 and ’69) in Honduras. A few years ago I learned that the two words are etymologically the same. The genus name Yucca was taken from Spanish yuca, but got mistakenly applied to a different set of plants. Spanish had taken yuca, which English refers to as cassava or manioc, from Taíno, a language group in the Caribbean.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 20, 2018 at 9:01 AM

  3. What a wonderful, detailed capture, Steve.


    June 20, 2018 at 12:12 PM

  4. That’s a fun photo! Love the framing/ setup starting left for the main subject with the antenna trailing over to the right!

    Reed Andariese

    June 20, 2018 at 8:05 PM

    • I like having a subject way off center, as in this case. That’s not always possible, but when it is, I’m inclined to go for it. Fun indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2018 at 7:15 AM

  5. The katydids are such fun. I love the long legs, and the longer antennae, and those tiny little feet. I caught one in the process of cleaning an antenna by drawing it through its mouth once. It would have been a great photo, had it not been such a bad photo, but it still gives me a laugh when I come across it. The way they stand makes me think of circus elephants balancing on their little stools.


    June 20, 2018 at 9:21 PM

    • And great wording: ” It would have been a great photo, had it not been such a bad photo….” We’ve all been there, alas. When I’d reached your words “I caught one,” I first imagined you holding a katydid in your cupped hands. That’s often not an easy catch, either.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2018 at 7:21 AM

  6. very nice success this photograph, it looks like he takes the pose

    • I’m happy whenever a subject just stays where it is, rather than moving or jumping or running or flying away. Even a brief staying put is as good as posing, provided the photographer is ready.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2018 at 7:27 AM

  7. Very nice image of this little guy. All antennas and awkward pauses…

    Tim Vant

    June 21, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    • I’m grateful for any pause, awkward or not, that lasts long enough for me to get a good picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2018 at 12:25 PM

  8. That is a name I have not heard in a while. Not many know what a Yucca rupicola is. It sounds like an Italian confection.


    June 21, 2018 at 11:41 PM

    • I checked and found that the adjective rupicolo exists in Italian and means the same as in scientific Latin: ‘growing on stone.’ In the case of this yucca, the stone is limestone. The species is endemic to central Texas. Because its leaves often twist, people call this species twistleaf yucca.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 22, 2018 at 4:18 AM

      • I liked it only because it was a yucca, and happens to be very rare here, but would not have been impressed with it for landscape use. The color was off here.


        June 22, 2018 at 11:30 PM

  9. I really like the composition and detail. I also learned these were called ‘Katydid’ here. In P.R. they are called ‘Esperanzas’ because of some superstitious belief that if you saw one, good luck was coming your way.


    June 23, 2018 at 7:06 AM

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