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  • Square-Legged Camel Cricket - (Tropidischia xanthostoma)

    Square-Legged Camel Cricket - (Tropidischia xanthostoma)

    Thanks to its incredibly long spindly legs, the non-biting Square-Legged Camel Cricket can easily be mistaken for a spider.

    Staff Writer (11/2/2017): Square-legged Cricket Camels have normal-sized bodies but extraordinarily long legs. The shape of the legs, especially visible at the joints, is squared, not round like one might expect. These edges have small ridges or teeth that help accentuate the corners. When they walk, they resemble spiders, but it can also hop because it's a cricket. Square-legged Cricket Camels do not bite, nor do they sting. Females have a curved, spine-like ovipositor that is used to bury eggs. It is sometimes mistaken for a thick stinger, but it is harmless.

    This species is a West Coast native that can be found near water or further inland. Its varied diet of insects, detritus, vegetation, fungi, and even feces make it easy to find a meal. Unfortunately, Square-legged Cricket Camels can ingest a nematode from deer mouse feces and spread it to healthy deer mice if eaten by one. These tiny worms affect the mouse's gut, making it sick. The nematodes are not a threat to humans, but their impact on mice can disrupt a food web that relies on healthy deer mice in order to flourish.

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    Details of the:
    Square-Legged Camel Cricket

    Category: Grasshopper or Cricket
    Common name: Square-Legged Camel Cricket
    Scientific Name: Tropidischia xanthostoma

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Orthoptera
          Family: Raphidophoridae
           Genus: Tropidischia
            Species: xanthostoma

    Size (Adult, Length): 11mm to 20mm (0.43in to 0.79in)

    Identifying Colors: brown

    Additional Descriptors: squared, angled, cubed, straight, edge, legs, long, jumping, fast, coastal, hopping, spider, harmless

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): British Columbia; California; Oregon: Washington; Mexico

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

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