Fall brings numerous praying mantis to our yard. They are elegant insects and I always look forward to seeing them.
While I was along the Grande Ronde river photographing the fall colors, I saw a slight movement on a downed log I was crossing. The images below are a conehead katydid, a creature I had never seen before.
“Easily recognized by their slanted faces and pointed or rounded cones that extend from their foreheads, the conehead katydids look like insect battering-rams, ready to poke holes in whatever gets in their way. (Actually, scientists do not know the adaptive significance of the cones.) Coneheads have long and slender wings, and most are strong fliers. While some species are only an inch long, others grow to nearly 3 inches in length, ranking them among the longest of our native katydids. Nearly all species occur in two color phases, green and brown, with proportions of the two color phases varying widely between species. This variation in color has not been carefully studied, but it is thought to be adaptive, perhaps making it more difficult for predators, such as birds, to develop a stable search image of their prey. They eat grasses of all kinds.”