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Elimaea punctifera (Walker)

Narrow winged Katydid
Hosts Distribution Damage Biology Behavior Management Reference


Jayma L. Martin Kessing, Educational Specialist

Ronald F.L. Mau, Extension Entomologist

Department of Entomology

Honolulu, Hawaii


Host plants of the narrowwinged katydid include avocado (young leaves), citrus, coffee, cotton, garden beans, macadamia and mango. They also attack the flowers of ornamentals such as Canna, Anthurium, Azalea, and Hibiscus, as well as several other blossoms.


This katydid is present in Borneo, Burma, India, Java and the Malay Peninsula. It was first reported in Hawaii in 1882 and is currently present on Hawaii, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu (Zimmerman, 1948).


Katydids have well-developed mouth parts that chew through plant tissues. Damage by the narrowwinged katydid consists primarily of feeding damage to blossoms of Canna, Hibiscus and mango. Severe damage to Hibiscus blossoms often occurs. Some damage to the plant may occur during egg laying.


Information regarding the developmental periods of this katydid was not found in the literature. However, like other katydids, it is likely that this insect has at least one generation per year.


Eggs are deposited in slits in leaf margins of various plants, in tender young shoots of avocado, in fern fronds or others plants (Zimmerman, 1948). Eggs are either laid singularly or in rows (Metcalf, 1962).


This katydid, like grasshoppers, crickets and other katydids, has a gradual metamorphosis in which immature stages are very similar in appearance, but differ primarily in size. Later stages of nymphs have wing pads. There are five nymphal stages (instars) separated by molts before the adult katydid emerges.


Like the narrowwinged katydid, most katydids are green in color. They have two pairs of wings. The front pair is narrowed and thickened with veins showing, and has a bendable flexibility like leather. The hind wings are membranous and fold accordion-like beneath the front wings. Both pairs of wings lay parallel against abdomen when the katydid is at rest.

The wings of the narrowwinged katydid extend well past the tip of the abdomen. This katydid has extremely long antennae, much longer than the length of the body, a characteristic that distinguishes it from grasshoppers. Legs are well developed for jumping. At the tip of the abdomen are two protruding structures called cerci. Female katydids have a prominent sword-like ovipositor at the tip of their abdomen that allows them to insert eggs into plant tissue (Metcalf, 1962).


Male katydids rub specialized areas of the front wings together to produce a chirping sound (Metcalf, 1962). Both sexes have "ears".



Natural enemies of the narrowwinged katydid in Hawaii are the egg parasites Anastatus koebelei Ashmead and Ufens elimaeae Timberlake.


Pesticides are not usually needed. This pest does not develop large populations. However, they are easily controlled with registered pesticides.


Metcalf, R. L. (Revised) 1962. Destructive and Useful Insects Their Habits and Control, Fourth Edition. (Earlier editions by C. L. Metcalf and W. P. Flint). McGraw-Hill Book Company; New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London. 1087 pages.

Zimmerman, E. C. 1948. Elimaea punctifera (Walker) pp. 109-110. In: Insects of Hawaii, A Manual of the Insects of the Hawaiian Islands, including an Enumeration of the Species and Notes on their Origin, Distribution, Hosts, Parasites, etc. Volume 2: Apterygota to Thysanoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 475 pages.





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