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What Do Katydids Eat in the Wild and as Pets?

Nicole Cosgrove

Do you enjoy listening to a choir of chirping crickets during a warm summer day? Then you probably will enjoy the sounds of katydids! These unique insects closely resemble grasshoppers. They have a slender shape, long legs, and come in a large variety of sizes and colors. With over 6,400 katydid species in existence, katydids can be found all over the globe. In fact, about 255 kinds of katydids live in North America.

But do these bugs make good pets? For people that appreciate insects, katydids make great pets!

If you already own a pet katydid, you might be wondering what types of foods are best for this little critter. A high-quality pet katydid diet closely resembles what they eat in the wild.

Here are some foods that katydids eat both as pets and in the wild.

leaves divider leafLeaves and Stems

In the wild, katydids primarily feast on leaves and stems from a variety of different plants. However, you can certainly feed your pet katydid these items right in your home! Feed your pet katydid stems or leaves from bramble, hazel, oak, or butterfly bush plants. Ensure you’re only giving your insect one to two leaves each day to snack on.

Katydids on the leaf_Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay


Katydids also can eat food both as pets and in the wild. Some delicious fruit to feed your bugs include apples, oranges, and grapes. Never leave fruit in your katydid’s enclosure for too long. Most fruits will start to rot after just a couple of days.

Small Insects

Though they mostly stick to plants, katydids have been known to consume smaller bugs, insect eggs, and dead insects. If you wish to treat your katydid to an insect, leave a couple of aphids in its tank. Aphids are tiny, sap-sucking insects that move very, very slowly. This makes them the perfect meal for your katydid. Leave the aphids in the enclosure overnight and remove and leftovers the following day.

Katydid grasshopper
Image Credit: islandborn, Pixabay

Additional Katydid Care Tips

Want to keep your katydids happy and healthy? Here are some other katydid care tips you need to know about:

Keep your katydid in a 12 x 12-inch clear, plastic tank with a netted or mesh lid. Your katydids will hang from the lid when they’re molting. If you have more than one or two katydids, you’ll need to get a larger enclosure.

Cover the bottom of the tank with two to three inches of substrate, such as potting soil, tissue paper, or tiny pebbles.

Mist the inside of the tank daily to keep the humidity levels high. Additionally, the temperature inside the enclosure should fall between 77 and 86 degrees F. Place a light bulb over the tank to keep your pet bugs warm.

Provide your katydids with plenty of items to climb on and hide in. These can include fake foliage, sticks, and paper towel rolls.

Related Reads:

leaves divider leafKatydid Diets: Final Thoughts

Pet katydids need a balanced diet of leaves, fruits, and the occasional small insect to stay healthy. Feed your katydids leaves from oaks or bramble, fresh fruit, and aphids. By replicating their natural diet, your pet katydids are sure to thrive!

Featured Image Credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.