Jerusalem Cricket  (three photos)
Genus - Stenopelmatus
about 1 1/2  inches
Nicknames include
"Potato Bug", Old Bald-headed Man", "Skull Insect"

jerusalem cricket
As I was tromping through the weeds on Antelope Island looking for insects, I saw something large moving
rather quickly through the grass in front of me. My first thought was "tarantula" and my second was
"cow killer".  Well, it was neither. It was this striped oddity.  No one really knows how it got
the name of Jerusalem Cricket. 
© Carol Davis, 10-23-2010

It was running for dense cover so I grabbed a stick and tried to flip it into the open and it landed
on its back.  As it was struggling, it was baring its mandibles and thrashing its little legs about.
The baldness, two eyes, bulging belly and wiggling legs made it look weirdly like a little baby.
 Two of its nicknames are "Devil's Baby" and "Child of the Earth".
  © Carol Davis, 10-23-2010

orange cricket
According to, the insect can actually make a good pet, although one would have to be wary of the
large mandibles that can deliver a vicious bite.  I hate to bother any living thing so I took just a few photos
 and let it go.  It's the first one I've ever seen and it was extraordinary! 
A magpie was watching this whole
episode and swooped down and landed about 20 feet away. I think it wanted the cricket but I hung around
 long enough for the little "baby" to get to cover.  © Carol Davis, 10-23-2010

Here's a Wikipedia reference.

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