Jerusalem Cricket Facts You Didn’t Know

Jerusalem Cricket

Jerusalem cricket are among the most often misunderstood insects in the world because they are characterized by unique features and behavior. Many people have been aroused and scared by these insects. Most of the things people need to find out about Jerusalem crickets encompass their bite, size, habitat, and whether they are dangerous.

What is a Jerusalem Cricket?

Jerusalem crickets are of the scientific classification Stenopelmatus fuscus, member of the Stenopelmatidae family. Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets, and they are not from the city of Jerusalem. These insects are commonly found in the western United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America. They are alternatively known as potato bugs and niño de la tierra, which means “child of the earth” in Spanish.

Physical Characteristics

Jerusalem Cricket Size

The Jerusalem cricket is comparatively large, different from many other insects. An adult measures between 2 and 3 inches in length, which makes it very conspicuous compared to other insects. It has a robust body, a big round head, and powerful mandibles. The body is segmented, and the crickets possess six spiny legs, which are helpful while digging and burrowing.

Habitat and Behavior

Cricket Jerusalem Habitats

Jerusalem crickets prefer a dark, damp place. Most often, they live in the zone beneath rocks, logs, and within the ground. These are mostly nocturnal insects, and the night is the best time for seeking food. They feed mostly on decaying organic matter, roots, tubers, and small insects. Jerusalem crickets are not social insects and outside a family bond, they live a solitary life, meaning that they are together only for mating.

Are Jerusalem Crickets Dangerous?

Are Jerusalem Crickets Dangerous? They may appear a little threatening, but Jerusalem crickets are not harmful to humans. Harmless, non-venomous, and in no way aggressive, Jerusalem crickets are safe. However, because these bugs can be put into a state of acute duress and treated badly, they are known to deliver a painful bite.

Jerusalem Cricket Bite

Their mandibles are strong enough to deliver a really painful bite. Their bite is not venomous but can irritate or be slightly discomforting. So these insects should be handled with care or better, not handled at all to avoid any possible bites.

Jerusalem Cricket Reproduction

Reproduction in Jerusalem Crickets The female Jerusalem crickets lay their eggs in the soil. A small, single hole is dug in by the female in which she deposits her eggs. After some time, the eggs hatch into nymphs, which are nothing but miniature forms of the adult crickets. Nymphs molt a number of times before reaching maturity; this usually takes many months.

Interesting Facts About Jerusalem Crickets

  1. Sound Production: Jerusalem crickets are very different from true crickets in that they cannot produce any sound through stridulation. What’s more, they are relatively silent insects.
  2. Defense Mechanism: When there is a perceived threat on a Jerusalem cricket, it produces a noxious smelling odor as a way to deter other organisms from coming close.
  3. Misidentification: Due to the size and shape of Jerusalem crickets, people often misidentify them into other kinds of insects, such as cockroaches or large beetles.

The Bottom Line

Jerusalem crickets are pretty intriguing insects with unique qualities and behavior. They are perhaps one of those that are pretty intimidating but are not harmful to human beings. Based on such huge size, strong mandibles, and nocturnal habits, these insects are certainly of interest from a study viewpoint. Definitely, one can appreciate a little more about these creatures after knowing more about them. Whether you find them in your garden or while hiking, you will agree that Jerusalem crickets are a valuable part of our natural heritage.


What is a Jerusalem cricket?

Jerusalem crickets are large, flightless insects found throughout the western United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America. They have large and distinctively large heads; they are strong mandibulates.

Are Jerusalem crickets dangerous?

Jerusalem crickets are not dangerous. They are not venomous and not aggressive, but can give a painful bite if carelessly handled.

What is the size of a Jerusalem cricket?

Adult Jerusalem crickets are about 2 to 3 inches long, making them one of the largest insects in their environment.

What do Jerusalem crickets eat?

Jerusalem crickets typically scavenge on decaying organic matter, roots and tubers, and small insects. They look for their food at night and are hence nocturnal.

Where can Jerusalem crickets be found?

Jerusalem crickets prefer moist, dark places and can generally be found under rocks, logs, and soil. They come from the western United States, Mexico, and Central America.