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Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Jerusalem Cricket.

 Updated: 8/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Jerusalem Cricket is a type of North American camel cricket, humpback and sandy tracks included.



This slow-moving, humpbacked insect is often mistaken for a spider. Six legs and only 2 eyes helps eliminate that as a possibility. As members of the Camel Cricket family, they sport a rounded back like the desert animal that is covered in alternating black and tan bands. The enormous, round head brown and a strong jaw is able to deliver a painful bite if mishandled. Their hind legs have 2 rows of spines and seem short for a cricket. They do not have wings, and walk so slowly that most people are comfortable approaching them.

Jerusalem Crickets are found under rocks or often walking along gravel in valleys, sandy banks, or on hillsides. This species prefers drier climes and loose, dusty 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 and related species have been found in California, but their range travels only 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 though there are many sightings in daylight.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Orthoptera
        Family: Stenopelmatidae
          Genus: Stenopelmatus
            Species: fuscus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Stenopelmatus fuscus
Other Name(s): Potato Bug, Chaco, Niña de la Tierra, Woh-tzi-Neh, Devil's Baby,
Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
Size (Adult; Length): 30mm to 50mm (1.17in to 1.95in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; amber; white; yellow. red
Descriptors: stripes, thick, round, hump, bump, back
Territorial Map
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.