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Central Texas Leaf KatydidKatydids prefer to be heard rather than seen. The insect’s name, an onomatopoeic transcription of the male mating call, first appeared in print in 1784, in Scottish American physician J.F.D. Smyth’s travelogue A Tour in the United States of America. “Their noise is loud and incessant,” Smyth wrote, “one perpetually and regularly answering the other in notes exactly similar to the words Katy did, or Katy Katy did, repeated by one, and another immediately bawls out Katy didn’t, or Katy Katy didn’t.”Scientists have now identified more than eight thousand species of katydids around the world, including around seventy in Texas. But the variety keeping you awake this summer is most likely the Central Texas leaf katydid, a.k.a. the truncated true katydid (Paracyrtophyllus robustus). Although most…

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