Can Katydids Be Pets?


Q: I have a strange request that I’m trying my very best to fulfill for my son. He is a huge lover of insects. He would like to have a katydid for a pet. Are there local species that are not considered invasive and could be kept as a pet instead?

A: There are several native species of katydid. They look like a bright green grasshopper, with a pair of long rear legs that propel their jumping. Their green coloration makes katydids hard to find. I hear their raspy call, made by rubbing their legs together, every summer. Unfortunately, you won’t find any outdoors in December since they survive year-to-year by laying eggs in late summer. The eggs hatch in spring and the nymphs go through several molts of their skin before reaching adulthood. Most eat plant leaves but some eat small insects. I’m told that Giant Katydid, Stilpnochlora couloniana, is often kept as a pet but it is native Kto Cuba.

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