Currently viewing the category: "Crickets, Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets"
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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

Cricket from India
Location: Agumbe, Karnataka, India
April 10, 2012 7:26 pm
This photo of an unidentified cricket was taken in January by a trip mate on a recent adventure in India. The antennas must have been near a foot long! She was on a fence post with her ovipositor out, so we tried not to disturb her too much. Any ID would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Brian

Raspy Cricket

Dear Brian,
We are not certain if this Longhorned Orthopteran is a Katydid or a Raspy Cricket, which is what we are leaning towards.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to get his input.

Hi Daniel,
You are correct, this is a raspy cricket. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the front tibia: a katydid will have tympanum (or a least a tympanal slit) below the knee, raspy crickets don’t have them. Unfortunately, I will not be able to tell you more about this Indian species other than that it is possibly (with a big question mark) a member of the genus Pardogryllacris.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tsingy Bemaraha Katydid
Location: Western Madagascar
April 10, 2012 6:45 am
Hi there
I recently found this on the Bemaraha plateau at the village of Bevero in Madagascar. Have you any idea if it has been seen before? A designation down to species would be appreciated if possible. What possible advantage could there be in this shocking green and pink combination? Your thoughts please, Thank you. Len
Signature: Len deBeer

Raspy Cricket from Madagascar

Hi Len,
We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki to see if he can identify this species which is possibly an immature specimen since it is lacking wings.  We don’t have a theory on the advantage of the coloration of this Katydid.

Piotr Naskrecki Responds
Hi Daniel,
This is not a katydid but a nymph of a gryllacridid, also known as a leaf-rolling or raspy cricket. But it would be difficult to ID the genus at this stage as this is a very young nymph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a mole cricket??
Location: Rockingham, Western Australia
March 10, 2012 6:52 am
Not sure how this got into a box in the corner of a room in my house so far from either outside doors..It was not making the usual clicking noises and i heard it scrapping in the cardboard box…
I have never seen this bug before.
Signature: Rockingham, Western Australia

Mole Cricket

Dear Rockingham,
You are correct.  This is a Mole Cricket.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

creepy crawler unidentified
Location: Horjul, Slovenia, EU
January 31, 2012 8:21 am
Found this thing trying to eat my hardwood floor! The noise was so loud it woke me up – he was under my bed.
Signature: Creepy Crawler in Slovenia

Mole Cricket

Dear Creepy Crawler in Slovenia,
You had an encounter with a Mole Cricket, a harmless subterranean dweller that generally attracts attention when it surfaces.  Some species are capable of flying and they are attracted to lights, which might explain the presence in your home.  Since it is time for us to select a Bug of the Month for February, we are posting your letter and photo in that position.  Though we don’t get many identification requests from Slovenia, we do get identification requests for Mole Crickets from many parts of the planet, including Australia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Cool! Thanks. I came across your website years ago already but it was not until now that I found the pictures and so I sent them to you immediately so I wouldn’t forget again.
Best regards from Slovenia!

Another Mole Cricket
Cockroach thing
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
January 31, 2012 3:09 am
I found this thing crawling across my floor the other day. It was about 2.5 inches long, thought it was a cockroach at first. I have no idea what it is. i have recently had a lot of those ants with wings appear in the kitchen when i got back from holiday, could this be the thing that lays those eggs? sorry if the picture is a bit blurry.
Signature: Justin

Mole Cricket

Hi Justin,
We just posted another letter from Slovenia of a Mole Cricket and we made it the Bug of the Month for February.  We are adding your letter and photo to that posting.  We get many Mole Cricket identification requests from Australia and you can see additional information on the Brisbane Insect website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Grasshopper or Cricket?
Location: Portugal
January 23, 2012 6:21 am
Dear WTB,
This little fellow was drowning in the pool… I rescued him and he was very kind to let me take a shot.
He is missing one of his horns.
This was taken in plain Summer, August.
Signature: Diogo Ferreira

Cricket from Portugal

Hi again Diogo,
This is indeed a Cricket, and the coloration is somewhat unusual, but we haven’t had any luck finding any matching photos on the internet.  The web search produced many more hits of the sport with the same name.  What you have called horns are actually sensory organs known as antennae.  Also, we believe your “he” is a she.  Though the depth of field is quite shallow and the rear portion of the body is not clearly visible, it appears that there is a stingerlike ovipositor, the egg laying organ of many insects including Crickets.

Update:  Thanks to Cesar Crash for finding a link to Gryllus campestris, which looks very much like the Cricket in question.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you once again for all of your help.
You’re site is amazing as well as all the detailed information about bugs.
I didn’t realize indeed that it was a she!
Thank’s for all,
Diogo Ferreira

You are welcome Diogo,
Please read Cesar Crash’s comment to this posting on gender and nouns in Portuguese.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination