The Intricacies of Growth: Unraveling the Camel Cricket Life Cycle

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Camel crickets are fascinating creatures found throughout the world, with over 100 different kinds in the United States and Canada.

These insects are unique as they don’t chirp like many other cricket species, as they have no sound-producing organs.

Typically residing in moist areas, such as under stones, logs, or in stacks of firewood, camel crickets thrive in habitats with overgrown vegetation.

They are also known to dwell in human-made structures like basements and caves.

Camel Cricket Life Cycle
Camel Cricket

Active mostly at night, these tiny wingless insects possess long antennae and strong hind legs that enable them to jump extensively.

Understanding the life cycle of camel crickets is crucial for those interested in insect biology or seeking to effectively deal with them in residential spaces.

Their life cycle involves several stages, including the egg, nymph, and adult forms.

During winter, these creatures usually exist as either nymphs or adults, metamorphosing into their various forms as they mature.

Understanding Camel Crickets

Physical Characteristics

Camel crickets are unique insects with a humpbacked appearance, which gives them their name.

They belong to the family Rhaphidophoridae within the order Orthoptera.

These crickets are wingless, with a body length of about 3/4 inch, and can vary in color from tan to reddish-brown or dark brown depending on the species and living environment.

They possess long antennae and enlarged hind legs, which are well-suited for strong jumping abilities1.

Some people may mistake them for spider crickets due to their spider-like appearance.

Camel Cricket

Habitat and Distribution

These crickets are found in various places around the world, with over 100 different species identified in the United States and Canada2.

They generally prefer cool, damp, and dark environments, and can commonly be found outdoors under logs, stones, and in the overgrown vegetation3.

During the winter months, camel crickets pass the time as nymphs or adults4.

Behavior and Nocturnal Nature

Camel crickets are primarily nocturnal insects, meaning they are most active during the night.

Their nocturnal nature helps them stay hidden from predators, and at the same time allows them to search for food sources, such as plant debris5.

Interestingly, unlike many other cricket species, camel crickets do not produce any sound, as they lack the necessary sound-producing organs6.

Camel Cricket Life Cycle

Reproduction and Egg Laying

Camel crickets reproduce by laying eggs.

Females are responsible for laying eggs in moist areas which provide a suitable environment for their development.

Development and Growth

The life cycle of camel crickets consists of several stages, including nymphs and adults.

Nymphs are miniature versions of their parents, and their appearance is similar to that of the adults.

Camel crickets undergo a change in color throughout their life cycle. They can be found in shades of tan, reddish-brown, or dark brown.

Small Camel Crickets

Camel cricket development relies on the availability of proper darkness and moisture conditions.

In indoor settings, it’s unlikely they will reproduce successfully unless those conditions exist.

Here’s a comparison between nymphs and adult camel crickets:

Characteristic Nymphs Adults
Appearance Miniature adult-like Hump-backed, larger
Color Tan, reddish-brown Darker brown
Habitat Moist, dark areas Moist, dark areas

In summary, the life cycle of camel crickets involves reproduction through egg-laying, the development of nymphs into adults, and color changes throughout their growth.

Proper conditions, such as darkness and moisture, are essential for their successful development.

Diet and Predators

Food Preferences

Camel crickets are known for their diverse diet and are often found in dark and damp environments like basements and caves. These insects mainly feed on:

  • Organic debris
  • Fungi
  • Plant material
  • Dead insects

In some cases, they might also prey on other insects and display cannibalistic behavior when food is scarce.

Natural Enemies

Despite their ability to adapt to various environments, camel crickets face multiple threats from different predators.

Some of their most common natural enemies include:

  • Spiders
  • Scorpions
  • Rodents
  • Birds
  • Lizards

Camel crickets also face dangers from larger insects and hunters that are seeking insect prey in their territories.

Burrowing Owl eats Camel Cricket

Interesting Camel Cricket Facts

Jumping Abilities

  • Hind legs: Camel crickets have large hind legs that give them the ability to jump strongly.
  • Jump: These insects can jump a significant distance, using their powerful legs.

Relation to Grasshoppers and Spiders

Camel crickets share some characteristics with both grasshoppers and spiders:

  • Grasshoppers: Similar large hind legs enable jumping.
  • Spiders: Humpbacked appearance and long antennae.

Diversity of Species

Trait Camel Crickets Grasshoppers Spiders
Hind Legs Large Large None
Jumping Abilities Yes Yes No
Humpbacked Yes No Yes
Long Antennae Yes Yes No
Species Diversity Over 150 None None
Related organisms None None None


Camel crickets, with their unique characteristics and fascinating life cycle, are intriguing creatures found globally.

Adapting to various environments, they thrive in damp, dark habitats, and exhibit nocturnal behavior.

Understanding their life cycle, dietary habits, and the challenges they face from predators is essential for managing their presence in residential spaces and appreciating the diversity of insect life.


  1. Camel cricket | Arthropod Museum – University of Arkansas
  2. Camel Crickets | Home & Garden Information Center
  3. Camel Crickets | NC State Extension Publications
  4. Camel Crickets | NC State Extension Publications
  5. Crickets | UMN Extension
  6. Camel Crickets | Home & Garden Information Center


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    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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11 Comments. Leave new

  • Nikki, your bug looks like a King Cricket, Australostoma. They live in burrows and come out on wet or humid nights. They are found in coastal New South Wales.

    See a photo at

  • I’ve also just found one!

    Are these King Crickets actually crickets or are they a species of Weta?

  • drtjhawkeswood
    February 18, 2010 6:13 pm

    The specimen looks very like Anostotstoma australasiae (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) a well known species from Qld and New South Wales, commonly known as the Giant King Cricket, known since 1837. Or it may be something very close to this species. Theres an old b/w line drawing shown in paper 362 from my website

    Thank you, Trevor

  • drtjhawkeswood
    February 19, 2010 2:26 am

    I made a typo, the genus should be Anostostoma

    Best regards, Trevor

  • drtjhawkeswood
    February 19, 2010 2:28 am

    I made a typo, the genus should be Anostostoma as in the family name. Not much has been recorded on these creatures. But they make good pets!

    Best regards, Trevor

  • Hi. This insect looks identical to the South Island/NZ tree weta. I find them often on rainy nights in Northern NSW,
    they are usually on the road.

  • Hi. This insect looks identical to the South Island/NZ tree weta. I find them often on rainy nights in Northern NSW,
    they are usually on the road.

  • Huge. That is all

  • Julie Ward-Walker
    October 26, 2016 9:12 pm

    I live in Braidwood NSW and just had one of these in my bathroom. It is fairly aggressive and bit a leaf I put in front of it. What do I do with it????

  • We found a large winged weta in our house in auckland today . Also large. Was a female with ovipositor. Including ovipositor it is over 5cm. Maybe growing larger in nz?


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