Homeless in Vancouver: The return of Ringo

Another drumming katydid or (I prefer to imagine) the same katydid visited my parkade last night—a tiny flash of lime green in my peripheral vision.

It paused just outside of swatting distance, as if to allow me to take some photos. Then it advanced right up to me and into the shadow cast by my bicycle panier.

It may have felt conspicuous, I thought—a little bright green tie pin on a grey concrete floor—until it climbed right up onto my bright red panier and stopped.

That couldn’t seem like safety unless katydid vision has some sort of red/green colour deficit.

Watching the red green show before bed

Stanley Q. Woodvine

Ringo, to give it a name, seemed content to just sit on top of my panier, and I let it be, for a while.

Katydids are omnivores and the larger variety are known to eat smaller invertebrates. I think I was once referred to as an “invertebrate liar”, but I still don’t think I’m at any risk in the presence of a little drumming katydid.

A page on how to take care of a katydid describes them as gentle and explains they will be happy for a long time eating romaine lettuce (how did they narrow it down to romaine?).

The page goes on to explain that keeping a katydid as a pet in a cage can provide a person hours of entertainment (are you listening, Vancouver Aquarium?).

You can watch it stalk, hop, and sing in its cage and you can expect to do so for two weeks to three months. The website doesn’t explicitly say whether this is down to lifespan or attention span—I suspect the latter.

Alternately you can do what I did.

I gently blew on the katydid so it slid down the side of panier, and after a few moments it went about its katydid business.

Maybe I should get some romaine lettuce in case Ringo comes visiting again.

Stanley Q. Woodvine
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