Some type of cricket….
I spotted these large crickets at a rest stop near Winnemucca, NV. Their bodies resemble the cave crickets or camel crickets but the legs are not so long and are not striped. Their bodies were between 2-3 inches long. They are large and sturdy, and that ovipositor is pretty amazing. The birds liked ’em even more than I did. The last picture with my foot is just to give a sense of scale. What kind of cricket are they, anyway? Thanks!

Hi Michelle,
This is a Mormon Cricket, Anabrus simplex. It is found from Missouri to Southeastern California and north to Alberta. It will devour many types of grains. According to legend and the Audubon Guide: “This common cricket got its common name after thousands suddenly attacked the Mormon pioneers’ first crops in Utah in 1848. Fortunately, many California gulls arrived in time to devour the crickets and save the crops.”

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