Given their diversity and frequent use as biological model systems for studying animal behavior, katydids and bushcrickets deserve to be better known. More than 6,000 described species are dispersed across all continents except Antarctica, and are commonly found in field, forest, and bushland habitats. Despite their abundance, most katydid species are seldom seen because they are hidden in vegetation during daylight hours.
Katydids and bushcrickets have become widely useful subject animals for biologists studying sexual communicationthe calls of males to attract sexually responsive femalesand mate choice. This book closely examines the practice of "nuptial feeding" by male katydids, along with emphases on how insect behavioral research is done. These accounts are enriched by many illustrations. Darryl T. Gwynne outlines the evolution of katydid and bush-cricket behavior and how it has proven valuable in testing Darwin's theory of sexual selection.
In the first book on the biology of this group of insects, Gwynne's chapters treat:
• diversity and biology,
• life cycles,
• mating patterns and courtship feeding,
• sexual selection,
• communication, and
• evolution of sexual differences.