The Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) is found in weedy fields, thickets, forest edges, and meadows throughout the United States. It is one of six Scudderia species likely to be encountered in the eastern United States (Capinera et al. 2004). These deep green katydids have long, narrow tegmina and wings. Scudderia katydid males of most species can be distinguished by the shape of the supra-anal plate. In Fork-tailed Bush Katydids, this plate has two swollen prongs (this is the feature referred to by the specific epithet "furcata", or forked). The ovipositor, which may be tinged purple or red, is short and is turned sharply upward.
The related Treetop Bush Katydid (S. fasciata) has a supra-anal plate virtually identical to that of the Fork-tailed Katydid, as well as an apparently indistinguishable call, but Treetop Bush Katydids are distinctive in their range in having lateral black stripes on the tegmina. Treetop Bush Katydids usually call from the tops of conifers, whereas Fork-tails are more commonly found in the understory than in trees.
The call of the Fork-tailed Katydid is a "tzip", sometimes given in a short sequence of two or three calls, with an intervening pause of several seconds between calls.
(Capinera et al. 2004; Elliott and Hershberger 2007; Himmelman 2009)
- Capinera, J.L., R.D. Scott, and T.J. Walker. 2004. Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
- Elliott, L. and W. Hershberger. 2007. The Songs of Insects. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
- Himmelman, J. 2009. Guide to Night-singing Insects of the Northeast. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.
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