Jerusalem Cricket

Stenopelmatus fuscus

Description 3

Despite their common name, Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets, as they belong to the family Stenopelmatidae, while crickets belong to the family Gryllidae; nor are they native to Jerusalem. These nocturnal insects use their strong mandibles to feed primarily on dead organic matter but can also eat other insects.[1] Their highly adapted feet are used for burrowing beneath moist soil to feed on decaying root plants and tubers.
Similar to true crickets, each species of Jerusalem cricket produces a different song during mating. This song takes the form of a characteristic drumming in which the insect beats its abdomen against the ground.

No species have wings with sound-producing structures; moreover, evidently none has structures it could use to hear sound.[2][3] This contrasts with true crickets and katydids, who use their wings to produce sounds and have hearing organs to sense sounds of others. Jerusalem crickets also seem unable to hiss by forcing air through their spiracles, as some beetles and cockroaches do. Instead, the few Jerusalem crickets that do make sound rub their hind legs against the sides of the abdomen, producing a rasping, hissing noise.[4] This hiss may serve to deter predators rather than to communicate with other crickets. For such purposes, Jerusalem crickets rely on substrate vibrations felt by subgenual organs located in all six of the insect's legs.[5]
While Jerusalem crickets are not venomous, they can emit a foul smell and are capable of inflicting a painful bite.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_cricket

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Franco Folini, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://www.flickr.com/photos/78425154@N00/2150281767
  2. (c) Tony Kotan, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, http://www.sdnhm.org/archive/fieldguide/inverts/sten-fus.html
  3. (c) nataliemarisa, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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