Shield-backed Katydids (subfamily Tettigoniinae) have a “shield” that extends back over their wings, which are usually short. They often sport brown or black coloration to blend in with their environment and most are nocturnal. Many species prefer plants, but some prey on small invertebrates. If you are tempted to handle one, be careful, as they may bite. Three-lined Shield-backs are out and about in arid, open habitats, July through September. We know this individual is a female because of the long, slightly upturned, sword-like projection at the end of her abdomen, a tubular organ used to deposit eggs (ovipositor). 

Size: Body length (excluding ovipositor) 19 mm – 30 mm 

Photo by: Jennifer Lundberg-DeNeut on 8/28/22 near Clinton, MT