Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Woodpile Wonder

I think every kid loves crickets. But, then what happens? I found this beauty while scrambling to get my firewood under cover after hearing rainstorm warnings. I took it out to the lawn for a better background for my photo. Then I did a little internet research. Seems like a large group of kids grew up to hate crickets and become exterminators. Google mostly provided websites of exterminators. Booooo! Try googling "cricket anatomy" and you'll find all sorts of neat drawings of the common cricket types.
This one is usually called a camel cricket. Note, it has no wings and is tan. The field crickets, which are dark brown or black and have wings are the ones whose songs you hear at night. They both make good fish bait as well as food for your pet lizards. Nice antennae. Everyone asks me, "What's that pointy thing in back?" Most likely an ovipositor, although I'm not positive. The little appendages on either said of the base of the ovipositor are cerci (singular = cercus). Had an amusing time when I "googled" (when will it officially become a verb?) cercus and cerci and the browser gods insisted I was trying to find "circus." These are usually sensory organs, but in the case of earwigs, which have very large ones, they may serve as weapons.

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