It’s the beginning of discipline season, so Joanie, myself, and Nancy all have had so much to plan for this month.
So as an alternative of doing a very deep dive on a query, I needed to speak just a little bit a couple of bug we get requested about all the time…each in our e-mail and on our Twitter.
This little man is called a Jerusalem cricket, they usually’re native to the SouthWestern US. They’re not the largest bugs the place they’re discovered, however they’re positively essentially the most attention-grabbing wanting. Consequently, nearly each tradition which has come by way of the place have given them their very own title. The Hopi referred to as them “shiny bugs”, whereas the Navajo referred to as them variant of ‘cranium bugs’ (with completely different names possible referring to completely different species), and the Spanish referred to as them “Kids of the Earth”.
I really want the title Cranium Bug for these guys as a result of they’ve at all times jogged my memory a little bit of Dia De Los Muertos make-up and that’s what I’ll be calling them from right here on out.
Southern California has an entire host of distinctive ecosystems, the place just about all the things is exclusive to the realm. This is called endemism, and Cranium Bugs are an vital a part of that ecosystem. They’re what’s generally known as an ‘indicator species’, one which tells you ways wholesome the ecosystem is. They’re fairly delicate to habitat disturbance, as a result of they’ll’t transfer very far or very quick. The straightforward act of constructing a street might lower vital breeding populations off from each other.
Cranium Bugs dwell underground, feeding on just about something starchy they’ll discover. They’re additionally joyful to eat different bugs, if the chance arises. They will harm potatoes, however they’re not crop pests. Most of their interactions with persons are folks discovering them, and questioning what they’re.
These guys are solitary and feircly territorial. When two Cranium Bugs meet in captivity, cannibalism is nearly assured whether or not it’s a mating try or two juveniles assembly. This sounds variety a bit just like the state of affairs in mantids, the place cannibalism is extra an artefact of captivity than anything…however the truth that biologists make it some extent to say violent cannibalism in a number of papers sort of makes me assume there’s one thing to that.
It’s fairly apparent why these guys catch everybody’s eyes. They’re simply…cool bugs, and there’s so much to like about them.
Sánchez-Xolalpa, D. A., Álvarez, H. A., De la Torre-Anzúres, J., & Jiménez-García, D. (2017). Morphometry, Habits, and Ecology of the Jerusalem Cricket, Stenopelmatus talpa. Southwestern Entomologist, 42(3), 745-752.