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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unknown bug ( wingless bee )

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Question
Unknown bug. 9/12/2013
Unknown bug. 9/12/2013  
I found one of these bugs crawling in my home. I just so happens found a the pic u poste on the web while trying to figure out what it is. Have u ever identified it? I live in the California foot hills.

Answer

Raquel:

I am making your question public because this creature is a recurring "mystery bug" and my answer may help lots of other people, too.

The insect in the image is plenty familiar to me:  it is a "Jerusalem Cricket," genus Stenopelmatus .  It is not a true cricket, but related to them.  Their nearest living relatives are "king crickets" and "wetas" in the Old World.  Here's more:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/39450

Be careful where you get your information on these insects!  Jerusalem crickets are steeped in myth, superstition, and urban legend.  They are also called "potato bugs" and "Child of the Earth" owing to their subterranean habits and enormous, "bald" head.

These insects are harmless, though I do not recommend handling them.  They have strong jaws and can bite hard if mishandled.  Otherwise, they are of no consequence to people.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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