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Last night, a Jerusalem cricket wandered into our house, so of course I decided to make this interesting insect (who is not really a cricket, nor from Jerusalem) the subject of my Project 365 photo for today.

Also called "potato bugs," these ferocious-looking insects, native to the western United States and Mexico, are actually quite harmless. They are not venomous (although can bite if provoked), and not considered garden pests. Even so, they seem to strike terror into the hearts of just about everyone who sees one. I'll admit that the first time one wandered into my house (which happens three or four times a year), I was a bit nervous. They are large (~2 inches long) and bizarre-looking, but once I'd managed to identify and learn a bit about these oft-maligned creatures, I decided that they're actually sort of cute. Sort of. ;)

After taking some pictures, I released it into my garden, where it immediately burrowed under the dirt (trying to get away from the monstrous creature which had been carrying it around, no doubt).

A few more photos can be found in this Flickr photoset.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
joyliveshere
May. 21st, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Ew. There's a big bug on your LJ. ::looks for can of Raid::
here_be_dragons
May. 21st, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
LOL! But he's so CUTE!!!!!!!

(Okay, so maybe not as cute as a kitten, I don't HAVE a kitten, so I'm trying to make do with what I've got right now). ;)
tmkr
May. 21st, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
You're trying to make due with what you've got??? How about, I don't know, a carnivorous squirrel or something?! :)
here_be_dragons
May. 21st, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Is it "make due?" LOL, I thought about that before I posted (although not long enough to actually go and check), and decided that "do" seemed right. *facepalms* Well, at least I didn't "make doo." *giggles*

Hey! Good point about the carnivorous "Wolverine" squirrel. And actually, I now have pictures of the ground squirrel, too (in fact I can see him/her siting on my fence right now, and making a very bird-like chirping noise). I could post a few of those, although they won't count for 365. Still, ground squirrels are CUTE! :)
sageofgodalming
May. 21st, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
It is 'make do'. Nice insect!
tmkr
May. 25th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
"due" "do" - I think it's "due" and I'm sticking to my story! :)
emperor_fool
May. 21st, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
Eep! I haven't seen a potato bug in years. (Not since moving away from CA almost 20 years ago.) I had all but forgotten about them. Yikes--they sure look nastier than than they ar.
here_be_dragons
May. 21st, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
I don't remember seeing them growing up in socal, but they seem to be fairly common up here. I kind of like them; once I got past "EWWW! UGLY!" I decided that they seem sort of . . . sweet. Okay, so maybe sweet isn't the right word. The one in the photos was fun to photograph, though. :)
misstreebc
May. 21st, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Eeek!!! Yuck! I hate potato bugs! Stomp it! Squish it!

*Shudders* That reminds me of when I was outside wating for the postman to finish delivering our mail the other day. A big, black beetle hit the side of my face, fell at my feet, and slowly scuttled away. I let it live, but I was a bit freaked out!
here_be_dragons
May. 21st, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
No! No squishing! They're friendly, really. Well, plus, they'd make a big mess on your shoe. ;)

Check out my newest entry. I think you'll like this one much better, in terms of the cuteness anyway. :D
yokospungeon
May. 21st, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, we don't get those here. If you ignore the wiggly legs, he looks kind of like Donald Duck!
synergy
May. 22nd, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Icon love!
synergy
May. 22nd, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Never been a fan of most insects. Eek. I had to go see this right before bed. Arachnids I can live with. They eat bugs. Insects? Not so much.
kvratties
May. 22nd, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Um, I think he is totally gorgeous. Much cuter than the squirrels and I'm a rat fan and shudder at spiders. Oh well :)
countedx58
May. 22nd, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
I've never seen one of these things (and I hope I never do).

When I was a kid, what we referred to as "potato bugs" were sowbugs (some call them "roly-poly" bugs).
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