Location: Puebla, Mexico
September 25, 2010 12:49 pm
I live in Puebla, Mexico, a city in southern Mexico. I found what seems to be a beetle in my shower. It has 6 legs, red legs and head, a black body, antenna, and no wings. It is also giant. Can you please help me figure out what this is so I can shower peacefully? Thank you!
Signature: A Scared American in Mexico
Dear Scared American,
You had an encounter with a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket in the family Stenopelmatidae, a subterranean dweller that emerges and forages at night. In Spanish, it is called a Niña de la Tierra or Child of the Earth. Potato Bugs have strong jaws and they may bite if provoked, but they are not dangerous. The description of different species has not gotten the attention it deserves, and most literature does not accurately differentiate members of the family which according to BugGuide, includes at least fifty species in California and 200 species in the entire range. Also according to BugGuide, they are found in Western North America from British Columbia to Central America.