Monday, 21 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Monster Crickets Living on Ochre Arch

On 2nd February 2011 we came across the large insect in the accompanying photograph on the old Sunshine Gate at the entrance of the house yard. We had no clue on how best to identify the species and a friend suggested we contact the Australian Museum.
We went onto the Australian Museum website and found the spot where scientific queries can be lodged. This was a fairly straightforward process.
Today we received a reply from the Australian Museum which reads in part:
You have found a female Thick-legged raspy Cricket Ametrus tibialis one of the family Gryllacrididae. The females are the ones with the long egg laying tube at the back end which allows them to hide their eggs deep underground. These are generally beneficial insects and feed on seeds and flower parts but also any insects they find amongst the same plants. They also defend themselves quite vigorously so don't pick them up with your bare hands! Here is a link to some relatives of your species but yours being an inland species is not represented in the east coast fauna and unfortunately there is little published information on your species that I can send you:- http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_grasshoppers/Gryllacrididae.htm
It's neat to have things like this living here on the farm.