Currently viewing the category: "Crickets, Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Katy-Did type bug?
Location: Montreal Canada
August 25, 2013 7:17 am
Hi, i’m from Montreal, Qc, Canada and i found this bug last night in bathroom and took picture.
I released it afterwards so I hope it’s a beneficial insect…and not a pest. Please give me good news?
Thank you very much! Melina, Montreal.
Signature: Melina

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Melina,
This is a Tree Cricket in the genus
Oecanthus, and like Katydids, they are classified in the suborder Ensifera with other longhorned Orthopterans.  Though they feed on leaves, we consider Tree Crickets to be benign as they do not get plentiful enough to defoliate trees and shrubs.  They are also insect musicians, so if you enjoy the sounds of the night, they are beneficial.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crickets in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 22, 2013
Daniel,
A couple of quick questions.
Growing up on Mt. Washington,  I was often lulled to sleep in the summer months by the hundreds of crickets in the open lot above our home.  When I purchased the family home in the early 90’s,  not only were the crickets absent, so were butterflies, bees, birds and damn near everything after the malathion spraying.
I occasionally hear some crickets in the evening, but not often.  I’d like to repopulate, but before I take any type of action, thought I would check in.  I can’t seem to find any real information on whether crickets are invasive,  pest like,  damaging to flora or any other real info.  I see that Mole crickets are a pest.
What are your thoughts?
Also saw an interesting insect this evening hovering around an outside light.  Very lacy, silver gray in color, perhaps 1 1/2 inches long, with a build very, very similar to a dragonfly.  Didn’t have a camera handy, but I will keep an eye open for it again.
Thanks,
Doug Nickel

Tree Cricket

Tree Cricket

Hi Doug,
The two “singing” insects we find in our Mount Washington garden with frequency are Tree Crickets and Katydids.  We would not release pet store crickets in your yard.  We were going to provide you with links to What’s That Bug?, but it appears there is technical difficulty right now.

Male Scudder's Bush Katydid

Male Scudder’s Bush Katydid

Update:  August 25, 2013
Well, we managed to create a post and provide some links.  We will check with Julian Donahue regarding other Crickets or musical insects in Mount Washington.

Julian Donahue responds
While Kathy and I enjoy hearing the tree crickets on warm evenings, I haven’t spent any time figuring out the other crickets I occasionally see–sometimes I see some that look like field crickets, but are more slender. And sometimes I find camel crickets drowned in the pool, but these are incapable of producing any sound.
Julian

Update:  September 29, 2013
Daniel,
Thanks for the note.  I alway appreciate your replies.  And am very glad to have such a knowledgeable Mt. Washington neighbor.
In all my years living in Mt. Washington 1963 til 1983 and 1992 to present, I don’t ever recall seeing a Tree Cricket.  I’ll keep my eyes open in the future.  In regard to the Bush Katydid,  unless they turn brown and have short antennae,  I’ve never seen any of those over here on Crane either.
However I have seen common house crickets and I am telling you prior to the Malathion disaster (may those public servants roast in hell) the entire 5 lots behind us sang every night with house crickets.
Do you think there might be various pockets around the hill.
Honestly, when I was a kid the hill behind us sang every night in the summer. On and off since we moved back, but not like in the 1960’s – 1970’s.
What’s your take?
Thanks.
Doug

Hi Doug,
Charles Hogue lists both the native black Field Cricket,
Gryllus species, and the brown European House Cricket, Acheta domesticus, as living in the Los Angeles area.  We haven’t really noticed either in Mount Washington, however the European House Cricket is the species sold in pet stores.  Were your childhood crickets black Field Crickets or Brown House Crickets?  As an aside, while living in Glassell Park in the early 1980s, we did have a Field Cricket take up residence in the drain of the bathroom sink.  It would “sing” whenever the water was turned on.  We were careful not to run the water too hot or too hard so that the cricket wouldn’t get scalded or washed away.  It lived in the bathroom for several weeks.  If there were Field Crickets in Glassell Park, we cannot imagine them not being found in adjacent Mount Washington.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Student Submission
Location: Chandler, Indiana
August 18, 2013 6:50 am
One of my third graders brought this deceased insect in to ask me what it was. I have never seen anything like it. Though it’s missing some of its middle and read legs, its giant front legs look almost like a mole’s. Its modified wings are interesting, too. Can you help us figure out what it is so we can label it properly for our classroom display? Thanks!
Signature: Mr. R.

I immediately figured out that it was a mole cricket after I sent this request. I know you get hundreds, so feel free to skip this one. Mystery solved.

Mole Cricket

Mole Cricket

Dear Mr. R.,
If you just used some of your key words from your description, you should easily find the identity of this Mole Cricket using a search engine.  We typed in “insect mole wings” and were quickly led to the Mole Cricket page of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension website.  You will find that Mole Crickets are subterranean dwellers that use their front legs to dig like a mole.  Winged species are also capable of flying and they are often attracted to lights.  We get submissions of Mole Crickets from many parts of the world, including Australia, the Middle East, Europe and many locations in North America.
P.S.  We just realized you self-identified.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Gorgeous primeval alien bug
Location: North Dakota
July 24, 2013 10:31 pm
Hey there!
I’ve submitted in the past – a fishing spider with her babies – and since then, I’ve gotten into insect and arachnid photography in a major way. (I even have a Bug Love album inspired by that section of your site!) Sadly, my shot of the intriguing bug we found this July evening isn’t particularly artistic – I snapped it quickly after my younger brother dashed past the intimidating little creature and hid in the house. I’m getting pretty good at identifying many of the insects around my house in North Dakota, but to be honest, I’m kind of at a loss here. Everyone I’ve talked to seems agreed that it’s probably some kind of cricket, resembling a house cricket in some ways, but the spikes on the hind legs seem unusually large! Can you help me out?
Thanks so much for your time, for the past identification, and for the site! It’s a major source of inspiration and joy for me.
Signature: Amanda

Camel Cricket

Camel Cricket

Dear Amanda,
This is a Camel Cricket or Cave Cricket in the family
Rhaphidophoridae, and the arched back that is so distinctive is not visible in this dorsal view.  A lateral view of a Camel Cricket reveals this feature.  Camel Crickets are generally found in dark and damp locations. You can read more about Camel Crickets on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery nightmare insect
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
March 19, 2013 5:22 am
Bugman!! Please help!! These diabolical little insect keep finding their way into my house! They are definitely nocturnal, and they can fly… The cats just looooove playing (and devouring…bleeeugh) this bug.. What is it!!!!!????
Signature: Bonny

Mole Cricket

Mole Cricket

Dear Bonny,
This is a Mole Cricket, and it uses those specially adapted front legs for subterranean digging.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large SoCal Cricket
Location: Ventura, California
March 18, 2013 1:48 pm
Hi there,
I saw this cricket on my way into the office at the local waste water plant where I work. I snapped a picture as his body was about an inch and half long and I immediately thought it was a Jerusalem Cricket which my wife is terrified of. I sent her the picture as a good morning jolt :) I took a look at the picture and realized that this guy looks nothing like a Jerusalem other than size but I have no idea what it might be. Any ideas? Sorry for the low res pic as it was taken with my cell phone.
Signature: Jerrod

Possibly Sand Treader Cricket

Possibly Sand-Treader Cricket

Hi Jerrod,
Our initial thought was also Jerusalem Cricket, but like you, our initial impulse quickly turned to doubt.  We did some research and we believe that this is actually a Camel Cricket in the Subfamily Ceuthophilinae, based on photos posted to BugGuide.  It might be the Coast Sand-treader Cricket, 
Rhachocnemis validus, which according to BugGuide is found in:  “Dunes near and along Pacific coast in California. Recorded from near Point Reyes to Santa Barbara.”  This photo on BugGuide looks close, but the low resolution of your photo is obscuring some important anatomical details.  The comments on that posting are interesting.  Is your jobsite close to the dunes?  Do you frequently terrorize your wife with photos?

Possibly Sand-Treader Cricket

Camel Cricket

Eric Eaton provides a lead
Daniel:
I’m not an expert on these. There is a scientist in southern California who is a specialist on Jersusalem Crickets and would probably recognize these as well. I know I’ve given you his name before, but it escapes me….David Weissman

Dave Weissman provides an identification
You have a Ceuthophilus species. There are some along the CA coast and in coastal sand dunes. The group needs revision. And thanks for trying to get me some more JCs and a few in those photos do look interesting. Do you have collection localities for them?
Dave

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination