Awesome Animal Fact - Anty Katydid
Did you know there are two species of katydids in Southeast Asia that mimic a black ant when they are young nymphs? They are often called ant-mimicking crickets.
You probably know that adult katydids are large and green. The adults actually mimic leaves to hide from predators. Most species of katydids have nymphs that look like... well, like miniature green katydids. But two species in the genus Macroxiphus have nymphs that do a remarkable job of looking and acting like ants. Why? Because many predators avoid ants, especially ants that look like a soldier backed up by a massive, powerful army that will attack if you pester them.
Anyway, these Macroxiphus katydids live in places where there are colonies of aggressive black ants. The katydid nymphs are black and look astoundingly similar to black ants. Even their long antennae are disguised to look like short ant antennae. How? By being black only near the base, making it harder to see the rest of the antennae. They even vibrate their antennae the way ants do.
So, these harmless, vulnerable baby katydids can go about their daily business protected only by their resemblance to a black ant. As they grow larger, they turn into normal green katydids. Below is a Macroxiphus nymph.
- Ant-mimicking cricket - Muhammad Mahdi Karim, GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons
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