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

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Corte Madera , California
November 20, 2015 4:58 am
Found this crawling on floor inside home. No others found as of yet. About as long as adult thumb.
Signature: Jackie Wilkinson

Potato Bug Carnage

Potato Bug Carnage

Dear Jackie,
Clearly you can stand your ground against Potato Bugs which are harmless, subterranean dwellers that become more active in California with the winter rains.  We try to promote tolerance of the lower beasts and we hope next time a Potato Bug wanders indoors, you consider relocation over squashing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large unidentified insect
Location: California, Santa Maria
November 2, 2015 3:55 am
Found at night on sidewalk. It had 2 pinchers on its mouth.
Signature: Steven Cook

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Steven,
The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is one of our most common Southern California identification requests, especially when rains cause them to emerge from their subterranean burrows.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hellish Grasshopper
Location: East Coast NSW, Australia
September 17, 2015 6:21 am
Dearest Mr Bugman,
I am sending you these images of a peculiar insect I discovered in my bathroom tonight. It was just smaller than my palm, and very active. As someone with limited knowledge of insects, I have decided it is a grasshopper/wasp/Satan hybrid.
We caught it in the cup pictured and released it into our backyard. Not sure how it accessed the bathroom as all of our windows and doors are closed. Perhaps he snuck up the drain?
Myself and my father are extremely curious about what this little fella is! Perhaps a locust? Please help us, Bugman!
Signature: Pharaoh

Possibly a Weta

Raspy Cricket

Dear Pharaoh,
This is a Long Horned Orthopteran in the suborder Ensifera, a distinctly different group from the Grasshoppers which are also Orthopterans.  We suspect this might be a female Weta, a group distinct to Australia and New Zealand, though there are relatives in South Africa and California.  Her forward curving ovipositor is very distinctive, and you probably mistook it for a stinger.  We will contact Katydid expert Piotr Naskrecki in the hope that he can provide a more conclusive identification.

Possibly a Weta

Raspy Cricket

Thank you so much, Daniel! That’s fascinating – I’ve never heard of them before.  I would be intrigued to find out more about this particular one. It certainly gave me a bit of a fright in the bathroom!
Kind regards

Identification Courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki
Hi Daniel,
This is a nymph of Hadrogryllacris sp. (Gryllacrididae), not a weta (there are no true wetas in Australia) but a raspy cricket. The ovipositor is curved over the body in nymphs of raspy crickets to help them move backwards in shelters that they make of rolled up leaves. After the final molt the ovipositor becomes straight.
Cheers,
Piotr

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please identify
Location: Orange County, Ca
March 13, 2015 7:01 pm
I live in Orange County, CA and I found this insect in my back yard. It looks like a termite but it is big, about the size of my thumb 2.5″ to 3 ” inches. Can you identify it?
Signature: Chris A.

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear Chris,
The Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket is a common southern California insect that spends its time underground.  Potato Bugs tend to emerge from their subterranean burrows with the rains, and that is the time they are most frequently encountered by humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant like bug
Location: South Africa. Limpopo
December 30, 2014 3:27 pm
It is a very big bug.Is it poisonous?I took the photo myself.It was at around 11 pm and it is summer with warm weather but it rained yesterday.
Signature: the bug man

Sand Cricket or Sandkrieke

Sand Cricket or Sandkrieke

Dear bug man,
This is a Sand Cricket or Sandkrieke in the family Stenopelmatidae which includes the Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets from North America, and their only living relatives are in Australia and South Africa.
  We located matching images on iSpot here and here.  Though they are not poisonous, they do have powerful mandibles that could deliver a painful bite, possibly even drawing blood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what bug is this?
Location: chino, california
December 9, 2014 8:08 am
I saw this on the floor twitching like it was about to die, you can’t really tell in the photo but the bug also has pinchers
Signature: ?

Potato Bug

Potato Bug

Dear ?,
This is a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket, a common Southern California insect that often appears with the first heavy rains of the season. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination