Parktown Prawn or King Cricket AKA Weta

Parktown Prawn
Dear Bugman
Not really a candidate for worst bug story ever, but definitely the reason I check inside my shoes before I put them on in the morning, don’t swat anything I feel tickling my face at night, don’t put my hand into dark spaces without checking first. They have a horrible black inky substance they spray when scared and jump quite high. A friend has moved house to get away from them. I’ve heard that they are mole crickets or king crickets? They look a lot like the camel crickets on your site? The Parktown prawn (since they used to be very prolific in the Johannesburg suburb Parktown) (Libanasidus vittatus) is a species of large South African cricket in the family Anostostomatidae. Adults are usually around 4 to 5 centimeters in length, with an antennae of 2 cm.(Wikipedia)

Hi Lynn,
Thanks for the great letter and photo. The family Anostostomatidae also contains the Wetas of New Zealand. This family is closely related to the family Stenopelmatidae which contains the Potato Bugs of Jerusalem Crickets of the Western U.S.

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