Subject: Drowned cricket
Geographic location of the bug: California Central Coast, USA
Time: 01:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I am a huge fan of this site and have used it to help ID several species of insects. I finally found a bug that doesn’t quite fit into any category I can find. This poor unfortunate soul was pulled from the pool during our swim team practice. On approach I thought it was a Jerusalem cricket based on size, but then when I picked it up I saw that it’s abdomen was much more narrow and down-curved. I thought maybe it was some sort of mole or cave cricket, but it’s features don’t quite fit to make it as either of those. We just had our first rains of the season, which drive many critters out on the pool deck. I’d love to know what suicidal bug this is to satisfy my curiosity and to inform those terrified swimmers who suffer from bugphobia and nightmares.
How you want your letter signed: Coach Jackie
Dear Coach Jackie,
Thank you for your kind words about our site. Alas, we are not able to provide you with a conclusive identification at this time, but we are nonetheless posting your image of this drowned Orthopteran while we continue to research its identity. We are also appealing to our readership for assistance. Like you, we acknowledge its resemblance to Camel Crickets or Cave Crickets in the family Rhaphidophoridae which is pictured on BugGuide, but we are not convinced this individual is a member of that family.
Thank you, Daniel! Now I’m bummed I didn’t save it–didn’t think it would preserve well after being soaked. I’ll be looking forward to what you discover!