This tool is part of the Citrus Resource

Citrus Pests

 

Fork-tailed bush katydid

 

Scientific name

 

Scudderia cuneata (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

Other common names

 

southeastern bush katydid

Similar species

 

short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae.

Distribution

 

United States: widespread in the eastern and southeastern United States. Also, California, Maine, and Texas.

Worldwide: United States.

Native to the United States.

Diagnostic characteristics

 
Adults
  • 14 - 75 mm (0.55 - 2.95 in.) in length.
  • Dark green.
  • Resembles a grasshopper but the rear legs are long and thin. Males have an unusual forked appendage at the end of their abdomen called a furcula.
  • Narrow wings with rounded tips are held along the body at rest.
  • Katydids have much longer antennae than grasshoppers, averaging 39 mm (1.53 in.). The white rings evident on the immature katydids are faintly visible.
Immatures
  • Six nymphal instars.
  • 4.1 - 16 mm (0.16 - 0.63 in.).
  • Initially pale flesh-colored turning bright green to match citrus leaves.
  • Similar shape as adults.
  • Antennae are black and white banded, long and slender, usually pointed upward.
Eggs
  • 4.5 mm (0.17 in.) in length and 1.87 mm (less than 0.1 in.) in width.
  • Light grey, smooth, and glistening.
  • Oval, curved, and flattened.

Hosts

 
Citrus hosts

sweet orange, Citrus sinensis

Non-citrus hosts

none reported

Host damage

 
Fruits

Feeds on very young fruit after petal fall causing distortion and a single circular scar on the fruit. Typically takes one bite of many fruits.

Leaves

Ragged circular holes are formed.

Biology

 

The fork-tailed bush katydid produces one generation annually since the eggs require a rest period ( diapause). Eggs are oviposited on the edges of tough, older citrus leaves in the summer and overwinter to hatch in the spring. Upon hatching, the katydids will first damage the flowers and then the highly susceptible young citrus fruit [5 - 15 mm (0.2- 0.59 in.)] in early spring and summer. Later in the season, as the fruit hardens, the katydids switch to feeding on new growth.

Comments

 

Katydids have excellent eyesight and when startled can hide behind leaves quickly.

References

 

Flint, M.L. 2008. U.C. pest management guidelines: citrus katydids. U.C. ANR Pub. 3441. (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r107300411.html).

Headrick, D. 2000. Fork-tailed katydid studies. Citrus Research Board 2000 Annual Report. (http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=hcs_fac).

Authors

 

Martin, K.W., A.C. Hodges, and N.C. Leppla

 

Citrus Pests
June, 2012