Insects have developed incredible means to avoid detection by predators. At least five insect orders have species that resemble leaves. Katydids (Orthoptera : Tettigoniidae) are the most diverse and wide-ranging of the leaf-like insects. At least 14 of the 20 extant katydid subfamilies contain species with leaf-like wings. Although it is undisputed that many katydids resemble leaves, methods for delineating the leaf-like from non-leaf-like forms have varied by author and in many cases are not explicitly stated. We provide a simple ratio method that can be used to differentiate the leaf-like and non-leaf-like forms. Geometric morphometrics were used to validate the ratio method. Leaf-like wings have been independently derived in at least 15 katydid lineages. Relative rates of speciation were found to be greater in the non-leaf-like forms, suggesting that leaf-like wings within Tettigoniidae are not a driver of diversification. Likewise, throughout Tettigoniidae, selection seems to be favouring the transition away from leaf-like wings. However, within the large Phaneropterinae subclade, relative speciation and transition rates between the leaf-like and non-leaf-like forms do not differ significantly.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4