Currently viewing the category: "Potato Bugs, Wetas and Parktown Prawns"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Creepy camel spider look alike
Geographic location of the bug:  Hesperia California
Date: 08/02/2019
Time: 09:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is it is it dangerous to me my children or pets?
How you want your letter signed:  Danielle

Potato Bug

Dear Danielle,
The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is one of our most common Southern California identification requests, but those sightings usually occur during rainy season when this subterranean dweller comes to the surface.  A mid-summer sighting during dry weather is somewhat unusual.  Though Potato Bugs have very powerful mandibles that could deliver a painful nip, they have neither venom nor poison, so they are harmless to you, your children and your pets.  It was interesting that you compared its appearance to that of a Camel Spider, a common name for a Middle Eastern Solifugid, because we get far more requests from people who have sighted a Solifugid and compare its appearance to that of a Potato Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  identify bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Maria California
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 03:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I just found this bug on my front porch and wanted to find out what it is.  I just moved to California from back East and have never seen a bug like this before!
How you want your letter signed:  LCS

Potato Bug

Dear LCS,
Welcome to California.  This is arguably the most iconic California insect, the Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, a subterranean Orthopteran that is driven to the surface by rains.  Your images are awesome.

Potato Bug

Thank you so much!  I have gotten attached to the little guy and would like to keep him but my kids think it’s weird!  So I had better put him back outside!  Have never had a “bug pet” before!!  Thanks again,  LCS

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large red ant-like bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Topanga State Park, LA county, USA
Date: 01/05/2019
Time: 01:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
This very large, red, ant-like insect crossed the trail right in front of us yesterday. We were hiking near Eagle Rock in Topanga State Park in Southern California (LA county).
The insect was about 3 inches long with a large round red head and a black and brown abdomen.
We photographed it (see attached), and looked online to try and identify it. Our search has not turned up anything.
Can you help us identify it?
Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Casual Hiker

Potato Bug

Dear Casual Hiker,
Commonly called a Potato Bug or a Jerusalem Cricket, this distinctive insect is a common southern California native that spends most of its life underground.  Fall and winter rains bring them to the surface so most sightings are made shortly after a good rain.

That’s it! Thank you so much!
François Baldassari
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Greater Los Angeles
Date: 12/15/2018
Time: 12:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please help me identify this cool looking guy?
How you want your letter signed:  The Panthaky Family

Potato Bug

Dear Panthaky Family,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, one of our most common Southern California identification requests.  These subterranean dwellers are often sighted shortly after a significant rainstorm when they dig to the surface.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Huge Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern California
Date: 11/27/2018
Time: 01:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was found in the garage. It is about 2 inches long.
How you want your letter signed:  Amy

Potato Bug

Dear Amy,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, one of our most common Southern California submissions.  They are often sighted after a rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Huge insect outside my door
Geographic location of the bug:  SF Bay Area, California
Date: 04/12/2018
Time: 12:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Two weeks ago (early April), I found a huge bug outside my door at night.  It was about an inch long. It did not move at all while we observed it with the light on, and we haven’t seen anything like it before or since. What is it??
How you want your letter signed:  Curious California

Mahogany Jerusalem Cricket

Dear Curious California,
This is a Jerusalem Cricket or Potato Bug, one of our most frequently requested identification queries from California.  Furthermore, we would say it is a Mahogany Jerusalem Cricket which BugGuide claims:  “Can be distinguished from other
Stenopalmatus species by its lack of striping on the abdomen.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination