Members of this genus, formerly know as Rehnia, are formidable predators. The two North America species live in arid areas of the Southwest.
Forewings well developed but shorter than abdomen. Forelegs adapted to seizing prey as evidenced by their being longer than the middle legs and having prominent spines along both lower edges of the femur and tibia. Length 25-52 mm.
Identification of species
The greater arid-land katydid (N. spinosa) is of course larger than the lesser one (N. victoriae): length 34-45 vs. 25-32 mm for males and 44-52 vs 31-37 mm for females. The front edge of the pronotum of N. spinosa is black, whereas that of N. victoria is green.
These katydids do not necessarily retreat when molested and will assume a threating pose with bright wings flared, mandibles opened wide, and spiny forelegs raised high. If given the opportunity, they may attack and draw blood--not your average katydid!
References: Cohn 1957, 1965.
- Cohn TJ. 1957. The relationships of the North American genera Rehnia Caudell and Neobarrettia Rehn (Orthoptera Tettigoniidae). Occas. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich. 588: 1-16.
- Cohn TJ. 1965. The arid-land katydids of the North American genus Neobarrettia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): their systematics and a reconstruction of their history. Misc Publ Mus Zool Univ Mich no 126. 179 pp.