Other Common Names
Cave Crickets, Sand-treader Crickets
ca. 150 spp. in 23 genera in our area(1)
, >500 spp. in >60 genera total
Hump-backed large crickets with long antennae and very long legs. Wingless, unable to chirp.
worldwide; widespread in North America
Most favor cool damp places - caves, leaf litter, under rotten logs or rocks. Will not reproduce indoors unless they find continuous dark, moist conditions. Species living in perpetual darkness, e.g. deep in caves, may have eyes reduced or missing, and often have very 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 sites, e.g. cool moist dark places such as piles of logs or boards in basements. They are harmless to humans, except for occasional minor damage to stored items. Can jump several feet.