Congratulations to JoAnne Russo for winning the August 2019 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. JoAnne captured this Scudder’s Bush Katydid (Genus Scudderia) in the act of molting under a milkweed leaf. JoAnne is one of the top naturalists at the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist too. She has over 8,000 observations and identified over 54,500 records. If you’ve submitted a moth record, JoAnn has likely studied it and if possible, identified it for you.
There are 80 grasshopper, cricket and katydid (Orthoptera) species known in Vermont. Six of those are Scudder’s Bush Katydids. The nymph that hatches from an egg looks a lot like an adult without wings. They shed their exoskeletons (called molting) as they grow larger and larger. During their last molt they become winged adults. JoAnne captured this moment. The katydid is sliding out of its old exoskeleton leaving behind the brown, empty legs,the casing for its new wings and body.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fav’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!