Jerusalem Cricket
( Stenopelmatus sp. )


2014-1005-SP175007-ORT02234-Stenopelmatidae[1941h00s,F,A,earth]{EXD}-O.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
Jerusalem Crickets, also known as Potato Bugs, are not dangerous. They would rather play dead, flee, hide or burrow when threatened. As a last resort they may turn onto their backs and present their spined legs and sharp mandibles. They feed on organic matter, including dead insects. Stenopelmatus fuscus, California?s largest species, may reach 30-50 mm in length. Heads are bald. Eyes are black. Antennae are long and thin; abdomens are banded. Legs are adapted for digging.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Stenopelmatus sp.
(Burmeister, 1838)
Common Name:Jerusalem Cricket
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Polyneoptera
Order:Orthoptera
Suborder:Ensifera
Family:Stenopelmatidae
Subfamily:Stenopelmatinae
Taxon Code:ORT02234

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Mount Diablo State Park, Mount Diablo State Park, Mount Diablo State Park, 96 Mitchell Canyon Fire Rd., Clayton
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CASP175000
Park/Forest Code:Mount Diablo State Park

RECOGNITION
Recognition
Weight: Up to 13 gm
Description
Wingless. Antennae long. Front of pronotum is wide, antennae widely separated at base, head is very large. Tibiae are robust with spines for digging, and tarsi have pads beneath. Hind femora do not extend beyond tip of abdomen in this family. This description applies to the whole family, but this is the most widespread genus in our North America.
Body Length
21-69 mm

BIOLOGY
Live in burrows and under rocks, logs, may wander on surface at night. Adults, and sometimes nymphs, strike ground with abdomen to produce species-specific drumming patterns (1). Female makes depression in soil for masses of oval, white eggs. Female often devours mate. One generation per year.
Food
Predatory on other insects, also feeds on roots, decaying vegetation. Sometimes found eating potatoes.
Habitat
Varied, under rocks, logs, and some appearing in sand dunes.
Importance
Said to be able to deliver a strong bite, but also to make a good pet.
Distribution
Western United States, basically west of 100 west longitude - just reaching western Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas.
Importance
Said to be able to deliver a strong bite, but also to make a good pet.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References


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