Saturday, December 12, 2009

Flat Alien Bug

Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 11, 2009. A small, 2", flat, Jerusalem Cricket found on Corraltias Drive. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Every rainy season, I get more email from neighbors thinking they've seen a flat scorpion in the street. While I have no doubt we have scorpions in the hills, this is a Jerusalem Cricket. When they've been flattened by cars it's an understandable mistake. However, once you've seen a live Jerusalem Cricket, you know where H.R Geiger got the inspiration for Alien.

They seem to come out after the rain. Look for them in the street - live or dead - early in the morning or after dark. My dog was fascinated and a little frightened of these 3'' bugs that walk much faster than you think they'd move. Around my house, they're known as "Alien Bugs."

If you take a photo of a live Jerusalem Cricket, or any other unusual bug in the neighborhood, please send it to us along with the date, location, approximate size and any behavior it was exhibiting at the time you witnessed it:

Read more about Jerusalem Crickets on:
What's That Bug?
Bug Guide