wingless meadow katydid
Odontoxiphidium apterum


Damage to weather stripping in central Florida and one of the culprits.
Photograph by Robert A. Belmont, Massey Services Pest Prevention, used by permission.

In October 2003, near Taveres, and in October 2008, near Lady Lake, pest control professionals reported an outbreak of insects that were gnawing holes in weather stripping around the doors of new homes. In each case, the insects that were submitted as causing the damage proved to be Odontoxiphidium apterum. The species is common in bushy areas throughout Florida, but I know of no other instances of damage of this sort and what prompts the behavior is unknown. Species in this subfamily "are predacious, but a large part of their diet in nature is necessarily composed of the flowers and leaves of certain forbs and the fruits of many grasses and sedges" (Gangwere 1961, p. 107).--T.J. Walker