Large Bug with very large Mandibles
Location: Antsiranana, Northern Madagascar
August 29, 2011 10:36 am
I wonder if you are able to identify the buy in the pictures as it has been puzzling me and my friends for sometime. it is between 1-2 inches long with the mandibles being 1 inch long. It was spotted in the early evening (about 8pm) not far from the sea in a remote location in the bay of Diego, Northern Madagascar. It was late last November and still in the dry season (towards the end). Any identification would be greatly appreciated.
If you were in New Zealand, this would be a Weta, and if you were in South Africa, it would be a Parktown Prawn. The close relatives in Madagascar are simply called King Crickets and they are in the family Anostostomatidae. Here is a photo on Flickriver for comparison. We believe the larger mandibles on your specimen indicates it is a male. Here is a very informative website called Wetas Information.
Thank you so much for your rapid and informative response much appreciated. I have seen Wetas in NZ but never drew the comparison. The picture of the King Cricket confirms it for me.