What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

unknown insect?
Sat, Oct 25, 2008 at 10:15 PM
While preparing to move things in for the winter, I found these six bugs huddled together behind something for protection against the rain and cold. They are on the side of a tall, fake rock flower bed. I’ve had what I thought were crickets in my basement for the last two summers, but didn’t pay much attention, other then they never made any noises, which I found unusual. The ones in my basement may have looked like these I didn’t pay much attention, I just got them out of there. They don’t jump real well. They freaked my daughter out every time she went down there. What are the ones on the wall?? Please help me I’m stumped.
Jenny
Missouri

Camel Crickets

Camel Crickets

Hi Jenny,
We get numerous requests for the identification of Camel Crickets or Cave Crickets in the family Rhaphidophoridae, but rarely do we get an accompanying photo as awesome as yours. According to BugGuide: “If these occur in a house the best treatment is to remove them and their breeding habitat – cool moist dark places such as piles of logs or boards in basements. A clean dry home will not be a welcoming place for these guys. Although they are scary-looking they are basically harmless to humans, except perhaps for minor damage to stored items, and are easily discouraged by eliminating the dark damp habitat they prefer.” We are wondering if we will hear from David Gracer that they are edible.

Thank you for identifying these!  Now that you have, I’ve done a little reading. That they eat their own limbs to avoid starving.  Apparently the ones on the left ate their back right legs.  I wondered why they were missing.  We have had a few in the basement. But I found these outside.  I have been collecting fossil rocks, I guess its time to put them in a plastic container and away inside.
Thanks so much for your help.

Camel Crickets

Camel Crickets

Hi again Jenny,
Thanks for the additional information.  We also got a comment from a reader who discovered some eating canine feces and David Gracer wrote back that though they are theoretically edible, Camel Crickets probably don’t taste very good because of their diet.  Many members in this order, Orthoptera, will cannibalize their own species if they can’t find food.  Also, legs get lost for a variety of reasons, and may be eaten if they are severed.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

8 Responses to Camel Crickets

  1. Dave says:

    Camel Cricket edibility
    Though I’ve not read about anyone [meaning, really, any particular culture or group of people] eating camel crickets, from what I’ve seen there are very few Orthoptera that are bad to eat. It may be that these varieties of crickets eat stuff that make them less palatable, and so they’re not the list for that reason. This kind of thing happens with some types of mushroom also.

  2. alanrnmahler says:

    I was wondering what these were myself. I had left a bucket out side with a bag full of dog mess (if you know what I mean) and the bucket had about 30 of these funny looking bugs in it. I guess thay liked the food????? Nasty!!!!!

  3. Paul Landkamer says:

    I tried ’em once. I was impressed, now I actively seek them. I serve them as “choice” insects at events, and most folks come back for seconds and more. Boiled or stir-fried, they’ve got a shrimp-like texture and (using imagination) near-shrimp-taste. Their exoskeletons aren’t nearly as hard as other insects either.

  4. Christine says:

    How do I get rid of them???

  5. Paul Landkamer says:

    Maybe shouldn’t eat bugs around a dog, or any pet, excrement area. But Camel crickets are quite good. To get rid of them: dry up the environment, and make sure there’s nothing for ’em to eat.

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