Currently viewing the category: "Potato Bugs, Wetas and Parktown Prawns"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant ant bee
Location: Los Angeles
March 20, 2014 5:37 pm
Found it hiding under a wet sack of soil in the garden. Cool outside, but not cold.
Signature: Sirochs

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Sirochs,
Say hello to the Potato Bug, the most iconic of all Los Angeles insects.  Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Cricket are found throughout the western United States, but they are most commonly encountered in the southwest.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: Mayberry ave, Rancho Cucamonga CA, USA
March 4, 2014 12:04 am
I found this bug borrowing into a crack in our pavement. It was maby 1.5″ to 2″ long and 2″ to 2.5″ width wise. I have no clue what this bug is and it kind of scares me.
Signature: Buggy man

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Buggy man,
This Potato Bug is a common Southern California insect that lives underground.  They often come to the surface after a good rain, and Saturday’s storm was a doozy.
  Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets are perfectly harmless, though their strong jaws may deliver a painful pinch, possibly even drawing blood, if they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weta bug?? In the Pilbara
Location: Tom Price
February 1, 2014 6:57 am
Hi. I work in Tom Price in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I have seen this (what looks to be a female juvenile) weta walking around at night. But from all my research they are from New Zealand. .. can you tell me if they have been seen here before. None of the locals knew what it was…
Signature: Peta Louise

King Cricket

King Cricket

Dear Peta Louise,
Wetas and King Crickets belong to the family Anontostomatidae, and according to records posted to the Atlas of Living Australia, there are sightings from Pilbara.  While the Weta species found in New Zealand may be endemic and not found in Australia, there are representatives of the family in Australia where the common name King Cricket is used.  You can view some images of both female and male King Crickets,
Australostoma australasia,  on Aussie Pythons & Snakes.  You are correct that this is a female, but not necessarily a juvenile.  We also located a matching photo on FlickR.  Because they are large and formidable looking, King Crickets are often victims of Unnecessary Carnage.  We are tagging your submission as the Bug of the Month for February 2014.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug identification?
Location: Southern California
January 12, 2014 10:09 pm
Hello,
Just ran into this bug and it scared the living daylights out of me. I was wondering if you might know what kind of bug it is? It was about the size of 2 quarters next to each other. Looked like a giant ant that was half bee. Very interesting looking.
Signature: Carly

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Hi Carly,
Potato Bugs like the one in your photo are southern California icons.  They are basically harmless, though they have strong mandibles and may deliver a sharp nip if carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identification of a bug
Location: San Jose, CA
December 4, 2013 9:33 am
Hi,
Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer this question. My 6 year old son woke up this morning and found a bug in our kitchen. I believe it was about an 1.5 inches long. I have never seen anything like this and not really sure how it got into the house based on its size. I have attached the picture and would appreciate if you could help me identify this bug.
Thanks,
Signature: Mohit

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Hi again Mohit,
We wrote back with a quick response yesterday, and we have a bit of time so we can provide you with additional information.  As we have already indicated, this is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, and it is a relatively common insect in California and other parts of the southwest.  Potato Bugs are subterranean dwellers that generally pass unnoticed until the fall rains begin, and they come to the surface.  Because of their large size and somewhat humanoid appearance, they attract attention when encountered the first time.  Though they are not venomous or dangerous, large specimens have powerful mandibles and they might deliver a painful bite, especially to tender six year old fingers, so they should be handled with caution.

Thank you Daniel. Looks like it must have come into the house from our backyard. I carefully removed it our of the house. Apparently my son has read about potato bugs and was familiar with them :)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identify this bug
Location: LosAngeles County. RedondoBeach, Ca. North America.
November 12, 2013 2:06 am
Monday November 11-2013 around 10:30 pm i found this bug on the sidewalk in front of my house in Redondo Beach, Ca. 1 mile inland from the Pacific Ocean, Torrance Beach or Redondo Beach side to be exact. I have taken a picture of it next to my lighter which is 3 inches in length 1 inch wide & on its side it’s 3/8ths inch high off the ground.
I believe the picture will tell you as much as i can about its color and characteristics.
Please let me know if its a new discovery soon. or what it is exactly.
Thank You Much.
Signature: Cory Ivie

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Hi Cory,
You must be new to Southern California.  This is a Jerusalem Cricket or Potato Bug, and it is probably one of the most iconic Southern California insects, and definitely one of our more common identification requests.  Because of their rather humanoid appearance, Potato Bugs have many legends and superstitions surrounding them.  They are subterranean dwellers that are rarely seen during the warm summer months, but once the weather begins to cool and the rains arrive, they come to the surface more readily.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination