Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 2:20 AM
I would really appreciate your assistance in identifying this really bizarre looking insect, It has the body very similar to a cricket with a very strange head. On the underside it seems to have 3/4 of a smaller body inside its pincer type arms on its head (as seen in pic one).
The bug flew into my dogs water bowl and couldnt get out, so I found it and still cant beleive how weird looking it is.
BTW… I think you have next month’s bug of the month!
New South Wales, Australia
This is a Weta, one of a family of insects endemic to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa whose closest relatives are the Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets of the American West. There is a photo posted on Wikipedia of a Wellington Tree Weta, Hemideina crassidens, that looks very much like your specimen, but all indications are that the Wellington Tree Weta is only found in New Zealand.
Perhaps your specimen is closely related in the same genus, but we are having problems locating information. Many species of Weta are endangered and are protected by law. Perhaps one of our readers will supply us with a link and identification.
Nikki, your bug looks like a King Cricket, Australostoma. They live in burrows and come out on wet or humid nights. They are found in coastal New South Wales.
See a photo at