Subject: giant cricket bright coloured
Location: eyre peninsula / spencer guulf
October 30, 2016 9:11 pm
Hi, I just found this guy (girl) on a sleeping bag left in my enclosed veranah. I live on eyre peninsula / spencer gulf side. I’m presuming a cricket although the back legs are not as prominent as most.
My main concern is the brightness of its colours – usually indicating something to beware of (& no I do not plan to kill it, just want to understand it – & maybe keep it as a pet)
I couldn’t find anything on Google (which is how I found you) it is FAR brighter than the king cricketsa I saw pictured
Any help with identification would be greatly appreciatd,
Subject: resubmission of giant cricket
Location: eyre peninsula / spencer gulf region south australia
October 30, 2016 9:26 pm
Hi, I realised there was nothing in the photos I provided to give scale so am resubmitting .
This is the giant black & yellow cricket from eyre peninsula / spencer gulf region south australia. the measuring tape used is in inches (largest numbers) & cm (smaller numbers)
The colours of the cricket look nowhere near as bright as the first photos, due to less light but it really is very brightly coloured
Thanks for writing back with additional images. This is a King Cricket in the family Anostostomatidae, and though we have had no luck identifying a species for you, we have found a few links for you. We found images of a similar looking individual on FlickR and Atlas of Living Australia has those same images as well as some other examples of the family. Cab E Books has a book entitled The Biology of Wetas, King Crickets and their Allies if you would like additional information. Intekom has a nice page devoted to Parktown Prawns, a related species from South Africa. This appears to be a female with a well developed ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen. This is such a distinctive looking King Cricket, we are surprised we were not able to locate anything more specific for you.
Thanks for the reply & info,
I also emailed the SA museum & got this response which I’ll pass on to you so you can add it to your knowledge database, even with this identification there’s not a lot of info available on the net:
Great pet – I say. As you have there a juvenile female Raspy Cricket. Family Gryllacrididae Genus Ametrus. They will/can bite are non-toxic but the bite is strong enough to break the skin. They make me jump when I catch them and they bite you – as it is so unexpected.
Feed her mealworms, moths any other arthropods. They are very impressive as adults as they are so big with such long antennae. The adult will have wings and can fly.”
Thanks for the correction Linda. We always defer to museum staff.
Ed. Note: We have not been able to locate any online Raspy Cricket images from the genus Ametrus that resemble this Orthopteran.