Genus Scudderia
Scudder's bush katydids

Key to genera of false katydids (Phaneropterinae).

Identification of species

Males of most species in this genus can be identified on the basis of their distinctive dorsal process, a rearward dorsal extension of the last last abdominal segment.
In this lateral view of a male Scudderia furcata, the horizontal line indicates the dorsal process (or supra-anal plate). The curved process that meets it from below is the subgenital plate.

Fig. 29 from Alexander, Pace, and Otte 1972.
Drawing by Martha B Lackey.

By comparing the dorsal view of the last abdominal segment of the male you wish to identify with the drawings below, you should be able to identify your specimen--or eliminate all but one or two species from further consideration. To confirm or refute a tentative identification, click on the drawing of the dorsal process of your candidate species. This will take you to that species’ page, where you will find information on its other features.

Dorsal view of dorsal processes of male North American Scudderia.
From Plate IX of Rehn & Hebard (1914c).

Females are difficult to identify, but the ovipositors differ enough among the species to be of some help. Clicking on an ovipositor will take you to that species’ page.

Ovipositors of North American Scudderia.
From Plate X of Rehn & Hebard (1914c).


Oviposition

Scudderia eggs are extraordinarily thin and flat --as befits the fact that the female inserts them between the upper and lower epidermal layers of leaves! The female's oviposition technique is easily observed. Deprive a fertilized female of suitable oviposition sites for a day or so and then transfer her to the leaves of most any plant. She will usually begin to lay in a few minutes. Here is a sequence of photographs that shows a "pink" female of S. furcata, from Rapides Parish, Louisiana, ovipositing in the paper-thin leaves of beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).

preparing
starting to insert
inserted
starting to withdraw
finished

Narrow-beaked katydids (Turpilia rostrata) also lay their eggs in the edges of leaves.