Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

"Red-eyed Devil"

Neobarrettia spinosa (Caudell 1907)

Family Tettigoniidae, Subfamily Tettigoniinae


"Red-eyed Devil" - Neobarrettia spinosa (Caudell 1907)

(note diagnostic red eyes and black leading edging of the pronotum)

Government Canyon SNA
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

June 03, 2007 (Lee Elliott)


"Red-eyed Devil" - Neobarrettia spinosa (Caudell 1907)


Utley, Bastrop County, Texas
August 14, 2007 (Brush Freeman)


"Red-eyed Devil" - Neobarrettia spinosa (Caudell 1907)


Eddy County, New Mexico
August 19, 1979 (Delorme & McHugh)

Neobarrettia spinosa Records

"Red-eyed Devil" - Neobarrettia spinosa (Caudell 1907)

Distribution data per Singing Insects of North America website

SoundSong of one individual singing - A short high pitched buzzy, "vzzzt", repeated at four to 10 second intervals.

Habitat: Oak-juniper, mesquite, bushland, shrubby desert.

Season: June to October.

Life cycle: One generation per year.

Behavior: Omnivorous katydid that will rear up in a formidable display if disturbed. 

Similar Species: There are two species of Neobarrettia, both occur primarily in Texas: 

Neobarrettia spinosa - greater arid-land katydid - "Red-eyed Devil"
Neobarrettia victoria - lesser arid-land katydid - "White-eyed Devil"

The front edge of the pronotum of N. spinosa is black, whereas that of N. victoria is green.
Also, N. spinosa has red eyes, whereas those of N. victoria are pale.

Etymology: Neobarrettia 

neo (G). New, recent
bar, -o, -y (G). Heavy

"Red-eyed Devil" is the preferred name for this beast per Theodore Cohn who conducted the definitive research on Neobarrettia.

Biography: Andrew Nelson Caudell (1872-1936) - Journal of Economic Entomology


Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. 134 pp.

Capinera, J.L. & R.D. Scott, T.J. Walker. 2005. Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 280 pp.

Caudell, A.N. 1907. The Decticinae (a group of Orthoptera) of North America. Proceeding of the U.S. National Museum 32: 285-410.

Cohn, T.J. 1957. The relationships of the North American genera Rehnia Caudell and Neobarrettia Rehn (Orthoptera Tettigoniidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 588: 1-16.

Cohn, T.J. 1965. The arid-land katydids of the North American genus Neobarrettia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): their systematics and a reconstruction of their history. Miscellaneous publications, University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology, no. 126. 179 pp.

Gangwere, S.K. 1990. Food selection and feeding behavior in the species of Neobarrettia Rehn, 1901, a New World genus of predacious katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Bol. San. Veg. Plagas 20: 291-298.

Smith, K.N., J.W. Cain, III, M.L. Morrison, and R.N. Wilkins. 2012. A Novel Songbird Nest Predator: The Greater Arid Land Katydid. American Midland Naturalist 167: 210-212.

Taber, S.W. & S.B. Fleenor. 2003. Insects of the Texas Lost Pines. Texas A&M University, College Station. 283 pp.

Taber, S.W. & S. B. Fleenor. 2005. Invertebrates of Central Texas Wetlands. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock. 309 pp.

Walker, T.J. 1997. Chapter 16. Tettigoniinae: bush katydids (prepared for Handbook of Crickets and Katydids, an inactive project).

27 May 2008   Mike Quinn / / Texas Entomology / Katydids of Texas