Subject: Large insect I spotted.
Geographic location of the bug: Lincoln County, Southwest Wyoming
Time: 06:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I was hiking on a hill and spotted this large bug on the ground. I searched through a site with pictures and categories, but couldn’t get a match.
I took this photo with a Moto smartphone zoomed out, about 4-5″away. Bug is about 2″ long.
On a foothill just East of Kemmerer, Wyoming.
Elevation: about 7000 ft.
September 27, 2021 at 5pm
I would appreciate any insight. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed: Bill R.
This is a Jerusalem Cricket or Potato Bug, two common names that really do not adequately describe an unusual group of insects in the only genus found in North America, Ammopelmatus, in the family Stenopelmatidae. Sightings of Potato Bugs are quite common in the Los Angeles area, and when Daniel began writing What’s That Bug? in print over 20 years ago, he thought, as many naturalists thought, that these critters were limited to the American Southwest. Internet reporting by regular folks like you have caused scientists to realize that the range of Potato Bugs includes many other western states. BugGuide reports previous sightings from Wyoming, but we speculate they are not too common at the edge of their reported range. Potato Bugs are subterranean dwellers that often come to the surface after a rain. According to BugGuide they: “Live in burrows and under rocks, logs, may wander on surface at night. Adults, and sometimes nymphs, strike ground with abdomen to produce species-specific drumming patterns (1). Female makes depression in soil for masses of oval, white eggs. Female often devours mate.”