Let me introduce you to the coolest-looking insect I have ever encountered, the Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum), an insect that I photographed this past weekend at my local marsh. The name just seems to fit the insect perfectly, unlike so many other insects that seem to have been named almost randomly.
I still recall the first time that I encountered a Handsome Meadow Katydid last summer and the resulting double take—I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. The bright colors of the body were astonishing and seemed so unreal that one of my friends wondered if I had colorized the photo.
It’s the eyes, though, that make this insect so attractive for me. There is just something so alluring about those blue eyes, eyes that I don’t expect to see in an insect.
I got some pretty good shots of Handsome Meadow Katydids last year, but was growing concerned that I would not see many this year (you can tell it’s a katydid, in part, because of the length of the antennae). I actually heard this katydid before I saw it. I was passing by a small bush and hear a kind of vibrating sound. I put my ear closer and closer to the plant and finally spotted the source.
I had to go pretty wide in cropping the shot, because the katydid was stretched out along the small branch. Click on the image if you want see a higher resolution view of the photo, including those amazing eyes.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved