Page:Insects - Their Ways and Means of Living.djvu/71

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THE GRASSHOPPER'S COUSINS

commonest species, and one that occurs over most of the United States, is the fork-tailed bush katydid (Scudderia furcata). Figure 21 shows a male and a female, the female in the act of cleaning the pads on one of her hind feet. The katydids are all very particular about keeping their feet clean, for it is quite essential to have their adhesive pads always in perfect working order; but they are so continually stopping whatever they may be doing to lick one foot or another, like a dog scratching fleas, that it looks more like an ingrown habit with them than a necessary act of cleanliness. The fork-tailed katydid is an unpretentious singer and has only one note, a high-pitched zeep reiterated several times in succession. But it does not repeat the series continuously, as most other singers do, and its music is likely to be lost to human ears in the general din from the jazzing bands of crickets. Yet occasionally its sort zeep, zeep, zeep may be heard from a near-by bush or from the lower branches of a tree.

The notes of other species have been described as zikk, zikk, zikk, or zeet, zeet, zeet, and some observers have recorded two notes for the same species. Thus Scudder says that the day notes and the night notes of Scudderia curvicauda differ considerably, the day note being represented by bzrwi, the night note, which is only hall as long as the other, by tchw. (With a little practice the reader should be able to give a good imitation of this katydid.) Scudder furthermore says that they change from the day note to the night note when a cloud passes over the sun as they are singing by day.

The genus Amblycorypha includes a group of species having wider wings than those of the bush katydids. Most of them are indifferent singers; but one, the oblong-winged katydid (A. oblongifolia), found over all the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada, is noted for its large size and dignified manners. A male (Fig. 22), kept by the writer one summer in a cage, never once lost his decorum by the humiliation of confinement. He lived ap-