BUG OF THE MONTH MAY 2009: Lawn Shrimp

Bug cult found dead on kitchen floor.
Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 3:54 AM
I went into my kitchen earlier today and saw brown spots on my floor, I lean in to see what it was. Hundreds of dead bugs lay on my kitchen floor all dead like some kind of bug cult that just drank the cool aid.
I have no idea what kind of bugs these are, they kind of look like little roaches, maybe bed bugs, I dunno.
It was just after a pretty big storm, also I have a punching bag that I brought in before the storm and am hoping they didnt some how come from that…
Houston, Texas

Lawn Shrimp
Lawn Shrimp

Hi Geoffrey,
We have decided that your highly entertaining and descriptive letter and photo of Lawn Shrimp will be our featured Bug of the Month for May. Lawn Shrimp are terrestrial amphipods, an order of Crustaceans. They live in ivy, shrubbery and fallen leaves and go virtually unnoticed until it rains, at which time they enter homes and die in great numbers. They are also called House Hoppers and are in the family Talitridae. According to Charles Hogue in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, the species found in Los Angeles, and quite possibly Houston, is Talistroides sylvaticus. They are gray while alive and turn pink or orange after dying.

5 thoughts on “BUG OF THE MONTH MAY 2009: Lawn Shrimp”

  1. I get them here in Florida as well, just a couple days ago I must’ve had a thousand of them on my carport after a decent thunderstorm.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this picture, description, and explanation. We’re in a rainy few weeks in Southern California, and I’ve started to find a dozen or so of these critters in my dog’s outdoor water dish each morning. I’d wondered if a racoon was responsible, but the water wasn’t muddied, and the “shrimp” left behind. So, they’re escaping drowning in the lawn by heading to our covered indoor-outdoor carpet, with a few landing in the water bowl. When the weather dries out, they’ll stop coming, and I trust they pose no danger to my house or health hazard to my dog or family?


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