What is this parasite on the cricket?
September 1, 2009
We found a wild cricket with the lump on its side. We were not sure if it was a growth or a parasite. Later I found another one and removed the lump. It appears to have legs and was attatched at only one point. The pictures show one with the parasite attatched. The other shows the underside of the parasite.
David and Deanna Brown
Clark County Indiana, in a garden.
Hi David and Deanna,
About a year ago, we posted a similar image and surmised that it might be a Tachinid Fly that had parasitized the cricket in question and linked to an online article on Tachinids parasitizing Crickets. Eric Eaton then provided us with this information: “Hi, Daniel: The object protruding from the deceased cricket is indeed a fly puparium (the rigid last larval ’skin’ enclosing a fly pupa). It could certainly be a tachinid fly, but there are also other flies that are parasitic on crickets, especially some members of the flesh fly family (Sarcophagidae). I’d personally be hard-pressed to identify even the adult fly once it emerges, though a dipterist (fly expert) could. Eric” We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he agrees. The most common cricket parasite written about online is a Horsehair Worm.
Eric Eaton offers a suggestion: Rhopalosomatid Wasps
The cricket parasite is probably not a tachinid. See this:
Wish I had more time to expand on this, but I don’t at the moment.