The camel cricket is also known as the cave weta, cave crickets, camelback crickets, spider crickets and sand treaders. Those occurring in New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania are typically referred to as jumping cave weta. Most are found in forest environments or within caves, animal burrows, cellars, under stones, in wood or in similar environments.
Most camel crickets have very large hind legs with “drumstick-shaped” femora and equally long, thin tibiae and long, slender antennae. The antennae arise closely and next to each other on the head. They are brownish in color and rather humpbacked in appearance, always wingless, and up to two inches long in body and 4 inches for the legs. The bodies of baby crickets may appear translucent.
They are commonly seen in caves or in other cool, damp environments, such as rotten logs, stumps and hollow trees, and under damp leaves, stones, boards, and logs.
Typically living in complete darkness, they rely heavily on their sense of touch, which is limited by reach. Given their limited vision, camel crickets will often jump towards any perceived threat in an attempt to frighten it away.
Cave and camel crickets may occasionally be a nuisance in buildings and homes, especially basements. They are usually “accidental invaders” that wander in from adjacent areas. They favor areas of continuous darkness and moisture, such as a basement, shower or laundry area.
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