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Camel Cricket - Diestrammena asynamora - female

Camel Cricket - Diestrammena asynamora - Female
Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA
November 14, 2005
Size: around 20 mm
I think this and a few others like it in the guide may be Walker's Camel Cricket, Ceuthophilus walkeri. I've sent the photo to Thomas Walker to see if he can confirm.

Never been bitten
(West Michigan, Kent County.) I have problems with these in my house. In the past 90 days I have captured 90+ crickets with my bare hands and never been bitten. They squirm and tickle me but no bites yet.

Last winter was very mild, only shoveled snow 4 times. And temps are very mild too for the past 3 months. Which means moisture levels are up. So, no surprise we have lots of crickets this year.

Lots of comments here, but I'll add another
It seems the "genus identification" question above wasn't fully addressed. This genus has a few things that stand out. First the legs are very long and slender (only a few have more so). There are noticeably long spines at the tip of the front and middle femora (the long thicker upper part of the legs). Also, on the face, there is a pare of "horns" between the antennae that point down. These "horns" are missing from most any related genus that might be found in the same environments.

Genus Diestrammena
1. legs are very long and slender
2. noticeably long spines at the tip of the front and middle femora
3. "horns" between the antennae that point down

Great info. Thanks David.

Thought of one more
Except for the moveable spurs at the end of the hind tibia, all of the spines on the hind tibiae are very short, and often not visible in a photo. On most other genera at least several of these spines are long and obvious.

Except for the moveable spurs at the end of the hind tibia, all of the spines hind tibiae are very short.

So these 4 tips can be put on the genus page, right?

Sure - they might be more useful there
where more are likely to see them.

Try to catch them in large quantities (really fairly easy at times) without using any poisons. Kill them by freezing. Then, after they're dead, (and here's where you might go "EWWW!!") fry 'em up in a little olive oil, stirring constantly. Use whatever spices you normally use with stir fry. These little guys are meaty, and very thin-skinned --quite similar to little shrimp. If it's really camel crickets (which I seriously doubt) that are biting you, bite 'em back! If it's not camel crickets, I'm not recommending eating them.

Biting Camel Crickets
This same cricket bit me 9 times last night i thought it was a spider until i grabbed it and put it in a water bottle. these bites that i received are itchy and red,am i going to die like that one guy said in West virgina? Freaky

This just happened to me!! It
This just happened to me!! It's red and did you die?

Was probably something else.
as suggested, if you have a photo, go ahead and post it, and we'll see what it is. If it was a Camel Cricket, I suppose it must have thought you were tasty ??? !!! :0) Certainly not a dangerous bite.

Did you photograph the culprit?

Moved from Ceuthophilus.

camel crickets
i have come across these "camel crickets" also known as cave crickets in dark damp areas and found out they will bite or sting . a lady in my area was bitten/stung by one on her legg it made the front page of the newspaper she later died from an uncontrolled infection they rulled it out in the line of a spider bite like . they couldnt control the infection. and i was also researching on them more . their vison is off, they think they are jumping "AWAY "from you when they jump towards you .

Camel Crickets don't bite or sting....
according to the University of Missouri. Read on this site.

"Camel Crickets don't bite or sting ...." - Sort of true
They can bite, but most Camel Cricket species find human skin a bit difficult to get ahold of. Even the larger ones rarely bite hard enough to hurt or break the skin, but some of the largest ones can. Under normal circumstances they are just going to jump away and not even try to bite. If you are holding one and it wants to get away, then it might try to bite.

They don't sting, they don't inject toxins, basically they can't hurt you beyond perhaps a pinch if it's a really big one (only two or three species are big enough, and they don't often turn up in houses).

If you put several in a container together and leave them alone without food, you might find fewer of them the next time you check. So, for pets, they are best kept singly. They will eat most anything plant or animal, but rarely bother living things that can crawl away (except situations such as above).

okay, so i *think* i was rudely introduced to said CC this morning by way of my dog "hunting" it. it jumped away and i really didn't get a good look at it. dog chewed briefly, then spit it out and just as I turned to "put it out of its misery" he ate most of it. my question: a female CC would have a large bulbous "larvae" or clear mucus if carrying larvae? yes/no? this was quite resistant to removal with kleenex and spray . . . ? or, was it a cockroach? please advise. i hope i don't return home to an ill/dead lab....little info - live in central Ohio, extra cold morning today, found at the wall/floor seam of a partially finished basement, first time i've seen one of these, pretty good at ID'ing roaches . . .

I really don't know
I doubt the substance is harmful if it really was a cricket. My only guess is that you found a cricket with spermataphore like in this katydid shot .

A plague of Camel Crickets
These things occur in veritable plague proportions here in Durham, I don't know about the Sandhills. Apparently, the moist woodlands surrounding suburbs here are ideal habitat. Every crawl space, basement, and outdoor closet seems to have thousands. They wander through little cracks and show up in our laundry room on a regular basis. I don't understand what they eat, but they don't appear to be doing any structural damage. Our (indoor) cats used to catch and consume them regularly, except they would always leave the hind legs--too spiny!

If you figure out what they eat, let me know.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Camel Cricket
Hey Patrick:

I live in Maryland I've found hundreds of them outside and dozens in my basement and garage. I agree they do seem to hang out in somewhat moist places and typically come out at night.

I have come to the conclusion that they are scavengers, since I’ve caught them nibbling on those regular, dead black crickets. But more importantly, I have noticed that they don’t hesitate to devour their own just as easily. I don't think they hunt each other, but they sure clean up the dead bodies except for the spiny legs, like you correctly point out. So, to be more specific, they could even be described as cannibals, as far as I’m concerned.

they consume Blatta orientalis AKA Oriental Cockroach? Here in Baltimore we refer to them as Waterbugs.

Camel Crickets
I recall these Crickets used to frighten me as a kid when I lived in Northern Virginia. They were definitely basement and laundry-room dwellers: they seemed very clumsy on the tile and linoleum. I would love to cultivate some (under controlled conditions) in my present home and study them. Would anybody be willing to send me a baker's dozen for a few bucks? Thanks..Mike

I got a response and then forgot to post it. Here is what T. Walker wrote to me.. "I know no specifics but I deduce that they have about the same food habits as field crickets and cockroaches—that is, they will eat most anything of food value that will hold still and that they encounter in their generally earthbound foraging forays. They are not considered pests of vascular plants."

thanks, a reference
Thanks for info. on food habits, that's pretty much what I figured, I just don't see how they obtain enough food to survive in the odd corners, basements, and closets in which I find them in large numbers. One outdoor closet we had in a house here in Durham must have had 200-500 lining the walls, with no detectable food source. This was near some woodlands, so maybe they went out at night to forage.

Sue Hubbell wrote a little about these from Missouri in her Broadsides from the Other Orders (1). That's a good read, if you haven't seen it.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

confirmed to genus by T. Walker.

Camel crickets - about ID
I think that most of these crickets belong to another (Asian) genus of cave crickets. Moreover, please compare with Tachycines(=Diestrammena) asynamorus (Adelung 1902). It's a typical domestic inoffensive species also known as "Greenhouse camel-cricket". It originated from China and occurs worldwide now.
Dima DD (Russia)

Thank you
I did look up asynamorus and it does look the same as this one. Do you have any tips for distinguishing one genus from the other?

2. Tachycines vs. Diestrammena vs. Ceuthophilus
I've received the positive answer from anonymous specialist (in our russian forum). The most important and clear morphological differences are visible on hindtibia: Tachycines has 2 rows of 50-80 small aciculae, Diestrammena - 2 rows of 20-40 larger pins, and Ceuthophilus - several very large spikes in 2 rows. Compare with these images of different Ceuthophilus spp.: However, some specialists prefer to combine all these genera into single genus (with different species' names though). But, I didn't find any indications of such a merger in the internet.

1. Tachycines (Diestrammena) vs. Ceuthophilus
I'm not a professional enthomologist. My friends (macro-photographers) discovered new large population of this grasshopper in Moscow (in very warm and wet cellar of apartment building) several days ago and I proposed Tachycines asynamorus (Adelung 1902) after a thorough comparison of images and information available in the internet. We asked our professional enthomologists (Orthoptera specialists from Moscow State University) and they confirmed this identification. To say, reports about populations of greenhouse camel-cricket in Moscow are known since XIX century. I readdressed your question to these specialists: let's wait for their reply!
Dima DD (Russia, St.-Petersburg)

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