ca. 150 spp. in 23 genera in NA(1)
Hump-backed large crickets with long antennae and very long legs. Wingless (and thus unable to chirp) up to about 25 mm long. Able to jump several feet, which can be startling. Light tan to dark brown in color.
The family is found world-wide, and is widespread in North America south of Arctic regions.
Most favor cool damp places - caves, rotten logs, under leaves or rocks. Will not reproduce indoors unless they find continuous dark, moist conditions.
Species living in perpetual darkness, as deep in caves, may have eyes reduced or missing, and often have long slender limbs.
"Sand-treader Crickets" live in burrows in deep sand (usually dune) areas, with stout hind legs for digging, and most have hind tibiae with long spurs modified into a "sand basket" that apparently helps in digging and moving through the sand.
Most are omnivorous and will feed on most anything organic. Many (if not most) will catch and eat other smaller animals when they can. In houses may chew on paper products, occasionally fabric.
If these occur in a house the best treatment is to remove them and their breeding habitat - cool moist dark places such as piles of logs or boards in basements. A clean dry home will not be a welcoming place for these guys. Although they are scary-looking they are basically harmless to humans, except perhaps for minor damage to stored items, and are easily discouraged by eliminating the dark damp habitat they prefer.
Taxonomy of genus Diestrammena is discussed under this image of D. asynamora: