What is this?
Location: North Eastern Washington, US
June 5, 2011 11:08 am
I was relocating some wild strawberries, when I came across this big fat little guy. The area he was found in was damp and dark in a heavily weeded spot. I live in a mountainous area with lots of pine trees. It’s June, middle of spring. I don’t know if you can see well enough from the pictures, but I’ve noticed that most cricket’s hind legs are usually long, with the leg’s bend raised up higher than the body. This guy’s hind legs are shorter than the average cricket. He’s got the hair/frills or spikes on the front legs like a cricket would. His body is very fat! He was about 2 inches in length. He’s wasn’t aggressive or defensive in any way. I was able to pet him! Your help in identifying is grately appreciated!
We believe this is a Great Grig, which goes by the intimidating scientific name Cyphoderris monstrosa. If you look at the images on BugGuide, we believe you will agree with us. BugGuide describes the habitat as “coniferous forests containing Lodgepole Pine, Englemann Spruce, and Mountain Hemlock; adults hide beneath leaf litter during the day, and become active at night, climbing tree trunks and continuing high into the branches to feed, sing (males), and mate” and that fits your description.