Foot sized insect/bug, can’t find anywhere on Internet
I don’t know if you replied to this email, unfortunately if you did I think it may have went into the spam box. Could you forward me your message again please?
Many thanks

Whilst in Turkey the other year I come across this insect which for the life of me I can’t seem to find out what it is. It was easily as large as my foot and has a large spike as a tail – easily the most horrid, chunkiest thing I’ve ever seen! I tried to get a better photo but it crawled away into dense dried shrubs & grass, and to be honest I was so scared of it I couldn’t get any closer. I seem to think it may be part of the Cricket family. I’ve seen similar, much smaller ones, around 5-10cm’s in length usually in bathrooms or patio’s. The first two photo’s are of the large one, the other’s are the similar, smaller type (with the strange tail) and were found in a bathroom (one under the toilet seat!!!).
Can you please let me know what it is and any more information you could give me? I can send the full sized photo’s if need be.
Thank you so much!
Stephen Donoghue

Unknown Turkish Orthopteran

Unknown Turkish Orthopteran

Hi Stephen,
Your original letter arrived during our transition phase to our new website format and many more letters went unanswered during that period, though in actuality, many letters always go unanswered to to the sheer volume of mail we receive. Your photos represent two different species of Orthopterans, and since the one found indoors is an immature nymph, we doubt we will be able to get you an accurate identification. The “foot sized” insect is also a Long Horned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera. We really don’t want to go any further with an identification attempt on this, but we can say that the stinger you mentioned is the ovipositor of a female. We hope one of our readers has time to research this posting and can write in with a comment. We will also see if Eric Eaton can supply any information.

Eric Eaton Replies:
I am reasonably confident that the unknown Turkish orthopteran is an adult female wingless katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, subfamily Saginae, and genus Saga.  I found an online checklist of Turkish Orthoptera that lists ten species of Saga in that nation, so I will leave it for others to assign a species name to this specimen.  Very interesting animals!

2 Responses to Unknown Turkish Orthopteran

  1. Jeremy says:

    I am currently in Turkey and photographed the same Orthopteran stalking and the eating a large hawk moth. It’s limbs seamed very well adapted to the task, is this it’s usual method of feeding?

    • bugman says:

      There are some predatory Katydids, and this might be one. Capturing a healthy Hawkmoth sounds like some feat, and we suspect the moth was either dying or attacked while roosting.

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