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.
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.
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.