While exploring a cypress swamp in southern Illinois, I came across this fine creature. Native to the southeastern United States, this species is more common in the south, but appears to be expanding its range northward.
It is found in a wide variety of both dry and wet habitats, though in more northern states, most reside in bottomland forests. The Modest Katydid is small and easily overlooked. Not only is the species size and demeanor modest, the song is barely audible in the field.
Though it looks leaf-like like other katydids, a key identification mark it that it has a bold dark diagonal stripe through its eye. Like other katydids, it eats leaves from deciduous trees in wooded areas, parks and neighborhoods.
The quiet, lispy ticks of the Modest Katydid are very hard to hear in the field. The nighttime chorusing of other katydids and crickets easily drown them out.