Currently viewing the category: "Crickets, Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets"
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Subject: Please Identify
Location: Southern New Jersey
September 27, 2012 10:40 pm
I located this bug outside my store. It’s approx. 4-5 inches long. Appears to be a cross between a lizard, grasshopper, and cockroach. The front legs like just like a crab’s claws. Any help identifying would greatly be appreciated.
Signature: Thanks , Kevin

Mole Cricket

Hi Kevin,
This subterranean dweller uses those crablike front legs to tunnel underground.  It is a Mole Cricket.  We get reports of Mole Crickets from all over the planet and in February, we made it the Bug of the Month.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Grasshopper-like blackish red bug?
Location: Belvidere, New Jersey, US
August 12, 2012 4:46 pm
This bug has been hanging outside with me while I’ve been working on a table. It would have to say it is the size of a small grasshopper, and I have seen it hop a couple times. It has large antennas and then smaller antennas that have round ball-like things at the ends. It is black and somewhat reddish on the head. In the picture I send you can save it and zoom in real close.
Signature: Insect friend

Handsome Trig

Dear Insect friend,
This is a Red Headed Bush Cricket or Handsome Trig,
Phyllopalpus pulchellus.  The second pair of antennae you describe are actually maxillary palps, sensory organs associated with the mouth.  See this Earthlife page on Insect Morphology and Anatomy (The Head) for more information on the palps.  According to BugGuide, Handsome Trigs are:  “Found in vegetation near streams and marshes, about a meter above the ground.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a baby praying mantis?
Location: Kingston, New York
August 10, 2012 5:01 pm
HI- My father found a whole bunch of these bugs nesting in his 2nd story windows. They are in 3 different windows always on the north side. IF they are baby praying Mantis– what should we do with them? Thank you!
Signature: Maria Juliano

Tree Cricket found in a Nest

Hi Maria,
This is a Tree Cricket, not a young Preying Mantis, and it is an adult.  Neither Tree Crickets nor Preying Mantids make a nest for their young.  We suspect your father discovered the nest of a Grass Carrying Wasp.  A female Grass Carrying Wasp makes a nest of grass, often in the tracks of windows, and she provisions the nest with Tree Crickets or other Orthopterans so her brood of larvae that cannot catch food for themselves will have a fresh food supply.  Many wasps provide for young in this manner, and the sting of these wasps has evolved to deliver just enough venom to paralyze the species that the wasp preys upon.  Paralyzing rather than killing the prey ensures that the prey will remain a fresh food source for the larvae instead of drying out.   See BugGuide for additional information on Grass Carrying Wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug and nest material
Location: Rochester, New York
August 7, 2012 1:50 pm
Hi. I keep getting bugs of some kind nesting between wood casement windows and the jambs…a teeny tight space. Sometimes I find clumps of dry grass, other times little dried mud tubes(maybe a different species). I’m amazed they can squeeze in there and can’t figure out what the attraction is. They aren’t damaging the wood, but messy when I open a window that’s been closed for months, and the stuff falls into the room. In today’s cleaning I found actual bugs (a brighter green than the photo shows). Thank you!
Signature: Hiawatha

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest provisioned with Tree Crickets

Dear Hiawatha,
The insects in your photo did not make this nest.  They are what appear to be Tree Crickets and they are the prey of the nest maker, a Grass Carrying Wasp in the genus
Isodontia.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are fed Grillidae (particularly tree crickets) or other Orthoptera” and “These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  See BugGuide for additional information on the Grass Carrying Wasp.  The mud nests you found were most likely the nests of Mud Dauber Wasps and they are generally provisioned with spiders to feed the larvae.

Grass Carrying Wasp Nest

Wow…thanks, Daniel!  That was a fast response and very comprehensive.  I really appreciate your taking the time to answer.  There’s probably nothing I can do to keep the grass carrying wasps out of the narrow track above the windows, but at least I know what I’m up against.
Again, thanks very much,
Jim Dierks
Rochester, NY

Hi again Jim,
Neither Grass Carrying Wasps nor Mud Daubers are aggressive species and you should not fear getting stung.

Good to know, Daniel.  Thanks.  I’ll just let the little guys do their thing, and with all the other troubles I’ve had with these windows, at least the wasps are just using some convenient space and not harming the windows at all.
Jim Dierks

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange insect in ontario
Location: southwestern ontario
July 31, 2012 10:00 pm
We have posted this picture on facebook to try to have it identified, so far people think it is either a crane fly or walkingstick, however I am unable to find an image of either that matched the picture taken
the picture was taken around 3pm just south of London Ontario. It was perched on a doorframe.
Signature: Kathrine

Two Spotted Tree Cricket

Hi Kathrine,
This is a female Two Spotted Tree Cricket,
Neoxabea bipunctata.  According to BugGuide:  “Two-spotted Tree Cricket, can be found on a wide variety of vegetation including (but not restricted to): Grapevine, Sunflower, Maple Tree, White Pine Tree, Apple Tree, Post Oak Tree. They are generally high on tall plants or in trees.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What the…
Location: South-central Arkansas
June 2, 2012 1:11 am
As an archaeologist in the Southeastern Unites States I have the pleasure (and occasional terror) of encountering an wide and fascinating array of wildlife including some pretty fascinating insects.
(my personal favorite was stepping barefoot into a flooded excavation unit to bail water after a heavy rain only to find my unit had toe-biters in it who had somehow made it across a field to my water filled unit).
Generally speaking, because we work ”side by side” with so many types of insects and we end up digging up a lot of them, we tend to flick them away as safely as we can and go on working. This one however stopped three archaeologists with years of fieldwork experience dead in our tracks. None of us have ever seen anything like this.
It was accidentally shoveled up in some loose soil that we were back-filling a test unit with and it shot immediately head first into the dirt and started trying to dig back in. We gently lifted it back out so I could get a photo (it wasn’t easy – it was frantic to burrow back into the dirt). It looks like someone crossed a crayfish with a dobsonfly. I would love to know what this was; I think it takes my personal prize of weirdest looking bug I have seen so far.
Photo was taken in early summer in a low bayou region with a lot of wetland and agriculture fields (western edge of the Arkansas Delta).
Signature: Dr. Horton

Mole Cricket

Dear Dr. Horton,
We love your letter.  This is a Mole Cricket, and like archeologists, Mole Crickets spend a great deal of time digging and their front legs are perfectly adapted for moving through soil.  Many species can also fly quite well and they are attracted to lights.  We get identification requests from all over the world for Mole Crickets and requests from armed forces in the Middle East are especially common.  Now, on to that Toe-Biter anecdote, we just have to ask:  Were you bitten?  If so, you would be the first person to come forward and substantiate that there is credibility in the common name for Giant Water Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination