Mole Cricket from Iraq

What the hell is this?
December 2, 2009
I took this picture in March of 2008 when I was in Iraq and this thing was just plain nasty. It’s about the size of my thumb (length and width). That is in fact rat droppings around it and it’s obviously somewhat of a bottomfeeder. Do you guys know what this thing is?
Ryan Luddy
Haditha Dam, Iraq

Mole Cricket
Mole Cricket

Hi Ryan,
Though your photo is from Iraq, it is worth noting that we get submissions of Mole Crickets from around the world.

After being severely chastised by one of our readers in a comment, we have decided to try to make things right.  Mole Crickets are subterranean diggers that can also fly.  They eat plant roots, and they do not feed on rat droppings since they are not scavengers.

5 thoughts on “Mole Cricket from Iraq”

  1. I’m surprised you’d post such an ignorant e-mail without any attempt to try to educate the sender.

    1. Rat droppings are irrelevant and coincidental. This insect doesn’t eat or live in them.

    2. “Bottomfeeder” is usually meant in pejorative manner. Yes, this insect lives in the ground and eats things at “the bottom” (roots, worms, etc.). So what? Cows eat grass growing low to the ground (that grows in their own dung). I imagine the sender eats beef without hesitance.

    3. “Nasty”? This insect never hurt anybody, and certainly never marched into somebody else’s country with a gun in it’s claw. In fact, this insect is one of the more fascinating types to many people because of its impressive adaptations to living in the soil.

    • Thank you for helping us to do our job. Though we take care to address as many questions our readership sends to us, we are sometimes brief in our responses.

  2. Sorry – That person’s bugophobic e-mail caught me first thing on a grumpy morning. I actually think you are doing a great job.

  3. So I googled my name and I found this result from when I sent this in. What I didn’t expect to see was some little coward getting a sandy pink triangle over this. First off, when did I ever say that it must eat rat droppings? Sense=0 Secondly, when I said bottom feeder I meant that it’s probably low on the food chain not in a judge of what the bugs personal life is like. The comment about eating meat didn’t really mean anything by the way. I bet the sender eats food….Thirdly, I meant nasty looking. As in the polar opposite of a little puppy, not exactly looking like he likes to snuggle, etc. Nice little jab about bringing a gun into someone’s country by the way but you wouldn’t know anything about serving in the armed forces, would you? Lastly, I’ll think of you when I’m biting into my next steak and hopefully your hackey sack goes down a drain at that moment. Put that in your pipe and smoke it hippy

    • We are sorry if a comment submitted by a reader has hit a nerve with you. Here at WTB? we are attempting to promote global awareness of lower beasts, including insects, and to educate the public about the important places they occupy in the web of life. We believe in tolerance. We refrain from personal attacks and we do not judge people on their religion, country of origin, life style or diet, but we cannot make the same claim for the entirety of our readership. Everyone should also be mindful and remember that there are no do-overs on the internet. It is very easy for an innocuous comment to be taken out of context and to go viral. We try our best to run a family friendly website.


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