Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Jerusalem Cricket - (Stenopelmatus fuscus)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 3/24/2014

The Jerusalem cricket is a North American camel cricket that leaves an impression on observers as well as a depression in the soil.

This slow-moving, humpbacked insect is often taken for a spider until one counts the number of legs. They are very slow in spring during their mating season.

They are members of the Camel Cricket family, though they are not technically a cricket. The humpback is striped and the large head is round and dense. They do not have wings. Their hind legs have 2 rows of spines and seem short for a cricket. They are not aggressive, but can bite, painfully, if mistreated or mishandled.

They are found under rocks or on gravel in valleys or on hillsides, preferring drier climes and loose soil. The tracks they leave behind are unique, created by dragging their large abdomens across the fine particles of soil. They can make a scratching noise. Many new species have been found in California, but their range travels as far east as Nebraska.

Females often eat their mates. They lay their eggs in soil after making a shallow hole. Nymphs (juveniles) are equally slow-moving.

Adults and nymphs eat plant roots, other insects, decaying plant matter and potatoes. Sources say it is nocturnal.

©2005-2016 All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.

Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Common name: Jerusalem Cricket
Scientific Name: Stenopelmatus fuscus
Other Names: Potato Bug, Chaco

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Orthoptera
      Family: Stenopelmatidae
       Genus: Stenopelmatus
        Species: fuscus

Adult Size (Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.18in to 1.97in)

Identifying Colors: black; brown; amber; white; yellow. red

Additional Descriptors: stripes, thick, round, hump, bump, back

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Washington; Idaho; Montana; Oregon; California; Arizona; New Mexico; Nebraska; Kansas; Wyoming; Oklahoma; Texas; Colorado; Washington; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.