Subject: Bug Spotted on Zion Hike
Geographic location of the bug: Zion National Park, Utah
Time: 03:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello,
I saw this critter on a hike. At first it was on it’s back and looked dead. I flipped it over and it moved slightly. It did not seem to be healthy. My initial thought was that it somehow just passed through a predator’s digestive track. So, what’s that bug?
P.S. I also saw a tarantula on this hike – photo also attached!
How you want your letter signed: Zion Hiker
Dear Zion Hiker,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, a subterranean dwelling Orthopteran that is most often found on the surface after a good rain. It appears to have undergone a trauma. We are always amazed at the number of squashed insects we have seen on hiking trails. We generally think of hikers as nature lovers, and the squashed insects seem too numerous to have been accidentally stepped on. Rather, we believe many hikers take out their fear and loathing of insects by squashing them on hiking trails.