Subject: Not quite an earwig, not really a cricket!
Location: Morristown, NJ
September 21, 2014 1:05 pm
I found this interesting bug at 3:30 in the afternoon in the shade of my back door – it was crawling on the door jam near the door knob.
It’s head and top of bodice was red, the bottom section black and it’s six legs are a tan/brown color. Most notably, it has one stinger-like appendage on the back, not pincers, pointing down, and it’s antennae are rounded at the top – not straight like an earwig’s. Not sure if this is a bug that eats wood or could do damage to my home, or sting me for that matter.
This Red Headed Bush Cricket, Phyllopalpus pulchellus, is also called a Handsome Trig. The stinger is the ovipositor, the organ used by the female to lay eggs. Handsome Trigs feed on leaves and they will not damage your home nor will they sting you.