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.



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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Citrus hosts

sweet orange, Citrus sinensis

Non-citrus hosts

none reported

Host damage


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.


Ragged circular holes are formed.



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.



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



Flint, M.L. 2008. U.C. pest management guidelines: citrus katydids. U.C. ANR Pub. 3441. (

Headrick, D. 2000. Fork-tailed katydid studies. Citrus Research Board 2000 Annual Report. (



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


Citrus Pests
June, 2012