Mike MacDonagh's Blog

Somewhere in the overlap between software development, process improvement and psychology

Esaltamontes – the spiny katydid

Information found!

My 7 year old son recently had a school assignment to write a non-chronological report on a critter of his choice from the Amazon Rainforest. He choose the most interesting picture which was the Esaltamontes to research.  The problem is there were no google hits at all for “esaltamontes”. Persevering, translating and trying similar critter searches we eventually found some information on the beastie in question. So, in case anyone else is trying to find info here’s my son’s report.


The Esaltamontes is one of thirty million insect types in the Amazonian Rainforest.

There are four names for it they are Esaltamontes, Spiny katydid, Longhorned grasshopper and Bush cricket.

Esaltamontes are the prey of birds, bats and other insects. The sharp thorns of this cricket

warn predators to stay away. Although the katydids are only 2.5 to 3 inches in length, scientists have observed these small insects successfully fending off monkeys and birds by batting at them with their spiny front legs.

Believed by scientists to be omnivorous, spiny katydids probably eat flower parts, insects and seeds.

Male spiny katydids, native to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America, attract females by singing a high pitched whistling song throughout the night. The females listen by moving their feet forward (ears are located part way down the front legs). Most tropical katydids sing only sporadically, spiny katydids sing their high pitched whistling song for most of the night.

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