Thursday, June 26, 2014


Somehow I have lived all my life without becoming aware of the identity of the katydid’s call, though I am perfectly familiar with the cicada. But the last few nights there has been something, very loud, apparently in the creeper leaves just the other side of the porch screen. I have recorded it a couple of times on my little mini digital recorder, but I haven’t yet learned how to put those files on the computer.

I thought maybe it was some kind of tree frog. Though I have just now become aware of the sound, and I would have thought it too late and dry for them. On the other hand we have been having a LOT of thunderstorms recently.

The cicada makes a long drone of a sound, with the individual clicks of the stridulations stretched out in a long even series, “r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r”. The call I've been hearing has separate, individually more strident notes, “ranh, ranh, ran-anh, ran-an-an-anh”. A sort of denser sound than a cicada.

Then Tuesday evening about dark I heard a couple of sharp notes of it from the middle of the dining room floor. I investigated, and found Agate uncertainly eyeing this critter, trying to decide whether or not to pounce. I stuck an inverted glass over it and then got it into this jar. Yesterday I got photos and then sent it on its way outside. It may be a common true katydid, Pterophylla camellifolia .

Still sounds to me like it might be saying a froggy “ribbit, ribbit, ribibibibit, ribibibit, ribibibit”. It starts out with some one- or two-pulse calls, then gets into its stride with four or five, and keeps it up half the night.

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