Sunday, December 8, 2013

On my Fascination with Insects: Part Two

I found one of these guys on my walk the other day.  I had thought they were mostly a southern North America thing, but apparently mole crickets can be found on every continent but Antarctica.  In Australia they have an arch enemy, the Blue Ant wasp, which uses the mole cricket as food for its larva.  The Blue Ant is actually far more interesting, but I didn't come across one of those.  This particular mole cricket is the Gryllotalpa Monanka, found in North America.  It is also known as the Dark Night Mole Cricket, which is actually the coolest thing about this particular insect, aside from the fact that it looks horrifying.

The mole cricket usually is a subterranean species, which means it isn't seen very often above ground.  So, I guess I was pretty lucky to see it in the first place.  My picture isn't very good, for example, you can't tell that this thing is nearly two inches long.  Also, its front legs aren't visible, and they are pretty cool looking; hooked and claw-like for tunneling.

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