What is this bug on my Hosts?

Asked July 21, 2017, 1:56 PM EDT

What is this bug so nicely camouflaged on this Hosta leaf?

Roanoke County Virginia

1 Response

From this angle it looks like a Katydid. You’ll normally find these insects in shrubs or trees in the garden, since they are leaf eaters. Generally, katydids in the garden nibble leaves but do not do serious garden damage.

They get their name from the sound they make, which sounds like "Ka-ty-did." They are related to grasshoppers and crickets and have large back legs for jumping. They do have wings and will fly away from danger.

Their body is designed to look like a leaf and even has venation, to look like the veins of a leaf. They remain very still when they sense danger is near, but will quickly fly away when startled, scared or disturbed.

They are fascinating to observe.
A couple of years ago, I was at Disney's Magic Kingdom, in Florida. One flew past me, and it was easy to pretend it was Tinker Bell.

They can be captured and observed, for a short time. Keep your observation time short as that does stress the insect.
Anne Bender wrote how she enjoyed keeping one for a short time, and also admits that she should have released it sooner.
http://annebender.blogspot.com/2012/09/ivy-leaf-bug.html

Here is a video of their unique song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob2rEjRz-RM

I found another video that shows the beauty of the insect with very close up photography.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Bl4zipCQk

Thank you for your question and giving me the opportunity to research and learn a bit more about these insects.