Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lake View Ave: "Crazy Looking Insect"

Photo: Stephanie, June 10, 2011.  Found on Lake View Ave.  (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Stephanie wrote in an email: "Today as I was walking I found a surprisingly big and crazy looking bug, nearly dead on the the street. My neighbor saw me squatting trying to take a picture of it with my blackberry and she came over to investigate--neither one of us knows what it is---do you?

It was on its back when I found it--we flipped it over and then moved it to some bushes.

I didn't think to lay something down beside it for a size reference, I wish I had, but I would say it was about 2 inches long."
Photo: Stephanie, June 10, 2011.  It's a 2" long Jerusalem Cricket.  I prefer to call them Aliens, as they clearly inspired artist H.R. Giger.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

And yes, they do jump.  A few weeks ago my dog woke me around 3 AM chasing a small (only 1") Jerusalem Cricket around my bedroom.  My first instinct was to find my camera, but I was half asleep, eyes out of focus and walking like a zombie.  I didn't want it to get away, as it was moving really fast across the floor. 

You do not want to squash one of these Aliens inside your house - they are extremely large bodied and not easy to kill. 

I tried to scoop the Alien onto some newspaper to toss it out the front door.  The Alien started jumping about a foot off the ground!  I screamed, the dog freaked out and now I was really awake.  I grabbed a paper bag and after several attempts I shuffled it into the bag and it continued jumping inside the bag. 

I tossed the bag out into the yard and the Alien kept jumping in the bag and setting off the motion sensor light.  Still walking like a zombie and too squeamish to attempt a squashing, I dumped the bag over the edge into the garden, far away from my door. 

I fully suspect it wanted to lay eggs in me so more Aliens could burst out of my stomach.

I'm hoping the baby skunks were hunting Jerusalem Crickets in my yard earlier this month.