Currently viewing the category: "Potato Bugs, Wetas and Parktown Prawns"

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

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.

 

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.

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.”

Subject:  King cricket
Geographic location of the bug:  Whyalla south australia
Date: 12/18/2017
Time: 02:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Seen this at work today after a big storm lastnight never seen one before just wanna know what it is and how it got here
How you want your letter signed:  Adam ellis

Female King Cricket

Dear Adam,
This does look to us like a female King Cricket,
Australostoma australasia, but alas, the images of female King Crickets on the internet that are the closest match are all from our own archives, and we do not like to cite our own archives when doing identifications.

Subject:  Found insect
Geographic location of the bug:  San Luis Obispo, CA
Date: 02/24/2018
Time: 03:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this insect while hiking in late February, and I am just curious what it is. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Angie V.

Potato Bug

Dear Angie,
The insect in your attached image is commonly called a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, and it is one of our most common Southern California sightings.