Stilpnochlora cf. couloniana (old instar nymph) - Giant Katydid / Esperança-Gigante (Saussure, 1861)
Orthoptera: Ensifera: Tettigoniidea: Tettigonioidea: Tettigoniidae: Phaneropterinae: Steirodontini
Date: 18th of February, 2017 at 11:06:02am
Stilpnochlora couloniana is a species of bush katydids in the order Orthoptera, suborder Ensifera, infraorder Tettigoniidea, superfamily Tettigonioidea, family Tettigoniidae, subfamily Phaneropterinae and tribe Steirodontini.
The subject portrayed is a nymph in an older developmental stage. Main color is green with an irregularly-shaped black hourglass patch on the dorsal view. Secondary color is yellow which can be seen on the legs of the katydid, as well as some clearer parts. Eyes are bulging and compound; they are able to see relatively well. Antennae are very long. I do not remember its length accurately not counting the antennae, but through eye memory I'd say somewhere near 20mm long. Very young nymphs have a "morse code" banding on the antennae as well as very long bowed hind legs and are different colored, mostly very colorful. Adults can reach around 45-90mm long and will feed on bramble and oak under captivity. Their eggs are very similar to the eggs of Microcentrum spp.. Top margin of tegmen with two sites of significantly increased curvature. All legs possess dark bands all across with the proximal part of the femur with the body being green.
Here is a picture of an early instar nymph:
The adults are very, very large katydids. An adult male can be found here, measuring from 45-50mm: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1049097
A female's picture can be found here, measuring around (and rounded) 90mm: https://bugguide.net/node/view/882356
The genus Stilpnochlora (Stål, 1873) has 16 described species as of now.
The adults look like a big leaf. Like other katydids such as Viadana sp. this is a camouflage defensive mechanism to hide from predators which are most often birds. They are green or dark green in color when adults. The hind legs of Stilpnochlora couloniana measure around 70mm when they are adults. Adults are generally docile and less wary than the nymphs. They will most likely remain still and then jump and fly away if the threat persists. Nocturnal in activity, males can produce sounds to attract their mates by rubbing their hind legs against their wings. The sound is not continuous as it is with crickets; it's short and not as intense. They prefer the temperature under 30°C and over 25°C. In nature, they will feed on the leaves of oaks, brambles, hazels, Hypericums, butterfly bushes (Buddleja sp.), apple trees, roses and hawthorns.
They hide on the crowns of deciduous trees and are attracted to light but they can be found in gardens, weedy areas, grasses, grassy fields and suburban habitats. I know no sightings of them in an urban habitat or even metropolis, but wouldn't discard that possibility.
The oviposition of the eggs is done after the female chews the branch to give it a rough coating, then proceeds to oviposit the eggs onto this spot. The eggs are glued there in a long string with an average of 100 to 150 eggs at a time. The incubation period takes from 40 to 60 days and the ideal incubation temperatures lie between 25°C and 30°C. Young nymphs can jump very far. Locations with poor air humidity might bring problems to this species' survival as they need humidity to molt well or they will get stuck in their skin when molting. If the temperature of the planet increases a bit we might see severe populational declines on this species.
Identified by Phillip Watzke Engelking (https://www.facebook.com/phillip.watzkeengelking)
The Giant Katydid, Stilpnochlora couloniana, is lime to dark green in color and has brown eyes. When adult the wings extend far past the abdomen and look like a glossy leaf of a tree of shrub. The nymphs are paler green and have some dark brown markings on their back and legs.
The body of an adult female is around 4 cm long, including its wings its total length is 7 cm. The males are slightly smaller and less bulky, including wings the male is about 6 cm long. The males also have a more narrow.. more