Purple-Eyed Rainforest Katydid (Austrosalomona destructor)


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These unfortunately-named katydids are found in FNQ, naturally occurring in dense forests but are well know to botanists and horticulturists due to their habit of eating developing flowers and fruit, especially of orchids. This species was described by entomologist David Rentz in 2018, where he caught them red-handed eating his orchids. These katydids are members of the subfamily Conocephalinae (literally “cone head”) and members of the tribe Agraecinii. Like other Agraecinii katydids, they are omnivorous and will feed on insects and plant matter, however this genus lacks spines on the forelegs and have difficulty immobilising agile prey and therefore can only really consume freshly dead insects or slow-moving caterpillars. These insects are rather timid but have very powerful jaws typical of omnivorous or seed-eating katydid and can give a very painful bite. Males and females are roughly the same size however females are slightly larger and have a sabre-shaped ovipositor used to lay disc-like eggs naturally in rotting wood, however they will deposit in styrofoam in captivity. These insects are like the garbage bins for bugs, any dead insects (such as male mantids after pairing, failed eggs sacs etc) or similar can be thrown in and will be consumed. Predatory katydid food should always be available to them and twice a week (alternating) a euthanised “small” size cricket or piece of fruit like halved grape, honeydew or mango should be placed on a plastic dish within the enclosure. Adults grow to about 60mm in body length.


Optional kit includes:

  • Pop-Up Mesh Enclosure (30×30)
  • A 90g bottle of Katydid dry food (bottle caps make good dishes)
  • 1 adult katydid
  • Spray bottle

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