Type of Animal: a bug
Name of Animal: that's the question
Hello,The picture you attached didn't come through. Could you perhaps try again?Thank you.Anna
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30272682@N02/thanks...hope this works...flickr.
Thank you - that worked. This is Stenopelmatus fuscus, often called the Jerusalem cricket. They are native to the western USA and to Mexico, despite their name. They feed on dead organic matter, and they also burrow. Sometimes they do eat other insects as well. The creature you see coming out of their bodies after death is probably a parasite, which kills the host insect, then exits to begin the next phase of its life. Stenopelmatus fuscus has been given many colorful names by the Mexicans and the Native Americans. The Jesuit missionaries gave the insects their name of Jerusalem cricket. It si believed to be the result fo some misunderstanding of the Indian names for the insect. They are interesting creatures. If you have more questions about this, let me know by clicking on REPLY.Anna
40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Hello, again, Anna,Thank you for answering our jerusalem cricket question...now, we want to know the metamorphosis of the parasite, though we found it to be harmless to humans, how does it get into the cricket and what does it morph in to??? We presume through what it eats, but what's weird, is, I videoed the cricket in water expelling the 2 'hair snakes'....later, after taking bug out, there became 3 'snakes'. Did one come out of the other 'snake'? Ewwww. Thanks.
You're welcome. This one will be more difficult, and will take much research, but I'll give it my best shot. The problem is that there are millions of parasites in the world, and most haven't been studied. That means it may not be possible to find out much about this one. I'll certainly try, and when I find something (or if I can't find anything), you'll receive email notification. I'll let you know either way. I like your curiosity.Anna
Thank you, Anna,I'm 52 and this has been an ongoing question since I was a kid discovering the 'put the bug in water and see what happens' technique to amaze and impress friends. Last night, we have friends from Texas who, tho older even than me, were pretty freaked out by the whole deal and their grand daughter, 14, along with us all are interested, to say the least. Thanks to justanswer, we can finally shed some light on the subject! Thank you for your research! By the way, the 'horse hair snake' is always the same out of these crickets...if that helps....only one time (out of a dozen maybe) was there no 'snake'.
Thanks for the additional information. I haven't given up yet, and I think I'm going to be successful. I'll be back soon.Anna.Anna41098.8298884259
It turns out this is a common parasite of several different insects. Its scientific name is XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX. The worms that come out of the crickets are the mature form. They need to be in water to reproduce. They lay their eggs in puddles, which later dry up. The crickets find the eggs as they burrow and eat them. Once the eggs are in the cricket, they hatch and begin to develop. When they reach maturity there is something about them which makes the cricket very thirsty. The crickets seek water, where the worms burst out, killing the cricket. They are then able to reproduce and start the whole cycle over. You can read more about them here:http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2112.htmlOld-timers often found the worms in horse watering troughs, and thought they were horsehairs come to life. That's where the name horsehair worm came from. I hope this answers everyone's questions. It's nice to meet such a curious group of people.Anna