Jerusalem cricket

The Jerusalem cricket (Stenopelmatus) is a genus of large, flightless insects native to western United States, along the Pacific Coast, and south into Mexico. Because of its large, human-like head, it is commonly called the nino de la tierra (Spanish for “child of the earth”), or wó see ts’inii (Navajo for “skull insect”). It is also often called the potato bug, or alternatively the old bald-headed man.

Despite their name, Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets. Also, Potato bugs are neither bugs, nor do they prefer potatoes for food. Rather, the nocturnal insects use their strong mandibles to feed primarily on dead organic materials found near garden plants. They can also use their highly adapted feet for burrowing beneath moist soil to feed on decaying root plants and tubers.

Like true crickets, each species of potato bug produces a different song during mating. Each also exhibits a characteristic drumming in which the insect beats its abdomen against the ground to attract others.