What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kinda bug is this?
Location: Bakersfield, CA
October 27, 2012 8:15 pm
I found a bug, yellow, with a black and yellow striped abdomen, 6 legs, and about 1-1.5 inches long. i have a picture…red on the tips of its fore legs, black and yellow head.
Signature: Jerry

Potato Bug

Hi Jerry,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket in the genus
Stenopelmatus, one of our most popular identification requests, especially from Southern California.  According to BugGuide:  “Nearctica.com lists 8 species of Stenopelmatus.  Capinera (1) states the genus needs revision, with 14 species currently described in the family, but more than 60 North American species likely–most presumably in this genus.”  We have never tried to distinguish the various species as they all tend to look so similar, and DNA analysis might be the only way for scientists to distinguish one species from another.  With that said, we have never seen a black headed Potato Bug.  We do not know if this represents a species, a subspecies or if it is just an individual variation in coloration.  At any rate, we find it to be quite unique.

Thanks for your help in identifying this bug. Is it poisonous?
I appreciate that you took the time to respond. Thanks a lot for your help.

Potato Bugs are not poisonous.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: California

One Response to Black Headed Potato Bug

  1. Mike Wheasler says:

    I have been seeing these near Santa Fe, NM. Thanks for the ID.

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