Against the garage, attached to a stem of the clematis, we discovered these carefully placed insect eggs, so carefully placed, in fact, that they seem to be woven or braided. With some googling we were able to figure out that they are katydid eggs. We have often seen katydids in the yard, but never their eggs.
The Katydid is a nocturnal green insect that looks like a grasshopper but whose wings look like leaves, perfect camouflage against predators. Its antennae are much longer (2 or 3 times the length of their body) than a grasshopper’s as well as its hind legs being much longer. They eat leaves, flowers, stems, and bark. Some species eat small insects.
Katydids go through three stages with moldings in between— egg, nymph, and adult. The nymph looks like the adult but without wings. Its lifespan is about a year.
But it is truly their song, their mating call in fact, that defines summer (listen to video below), where the pattern of music is attributed to their name “ka-ty-did.” This sound, known as stridulation, is created by the rubbing together of their forewings. The upper wing literally has a series of serrated teeth and the lower wing has a scraper. The sound produced is much like rubbing a toothed comb against an edge of a table. The wings amplify the sound.
Though we are still a bit distanced from summer right now, seeing these beautifully positioned eggs is the harbinger of those warm, gentle, peaceful summer nights to come. I’ll be in the garden in my favorite old rusted antique chair, next to JB, and any other spontaneous guests, surrounded by the hypnotizing sounds of the katydids.