Insect from Kilcowera Station
Location: Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland, Australia
December 2, 2011 6:45 pm
Hi bugman! Love your website, so handy!It’s early summer here in Oz and these insects are all over the place in their little homes growing big, ready to fly.
They live in bricks,small diameter steel pipes and in suitable bits of steel and other things that have a nice cosy hole that they can cover at one end.
Do they bite? They look quite terrifying and I hate the look of them. They start off only a couple of centimetres long and can get to about 8 cm.
Signature: Toni Sherwin
We identified your insect as a Striped Raspy Cricket, Paragryllacris combusta, on the Brisbane Insect website which states: “Striped Raspy Crickets are also known as Tree Crickets. Adults are dark brown to pale brown in colour with fully developed wings. They have very long antenna, all legs are spiny. They hide in nest on tree during the day. Their nest is usually two board leaves hold together by silky material. They are well known for their ability to find the way home after foraging distance away.” You indicate that they live in bricks and pipes, and provided a photo of the covering they create at one end. We did additional research and learned on Bush Craft Oz that they are: “Large cricket (body up to 45 mm), nocturnal feeder, spends day in tree holes, or, more usually, two leaves stuck together with silk like material. Can navigate home each night. Has been observed nectar feeding. Fully developed wings. Patterns on face.” Since they spend the diurnal hours in tree holes, they are probably using your bricks as a substitute lair. We are intrigued with their ability to spin silk. The sword-like ovipositor on your individual indicates she is a female.
Well thank you very much for your speedy response. I have never seen their nest in trees! I have observed however that it seems it’s the smaller ones hide behind the white silk like stuff and don’t come out for a fee weeks, then one day the white stuff will have been broken or eaten away and the insect is gone. And they get much bigger than 45ml!!! Do they bite????? Regards Toni
Many large Orthopterans can bite, but we have no knowledge of the Striped Raspy Cricket being a biter, though we would surmise that they would only bite if carelessly handled.