Big brown hard insect (Mole cricket)

by Laura
(Reading PA)

About three inches, brown, hard

Comments for Big brown hard insect (Mole cricket)

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Mole cricket
by: Moni

Laura
The cool insect you have found is a mole cricket.
It is probably the Northern mole cricket, tho the photo is not quite close or clear enough to tell.

Mole crickets can be found thru out most of the eastern North America, then south into South America.
They are usually found in moist areas near streams and ponds, but also in gardens and agricultural fields. The adults do come to lights at night.

This insect is a herbivore...they feed on plant roots. It takes two years to complete a generation in most of N America. The males do have a call they make to attract females to their burrows, then the female lays her eggs and then guards them thru the second or third stage of life.
Some mole crickets can be pests of turf due to their tunneling.

This insect does not bite or sting.

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long brown bug with hairy feet and a striped thorax (Hanging-thieves robber fly)

by Cori
(Somerset, NJ USA)

my sister found this on her back porch. It is between 1 and 2 inches long.

Comments for long brown bug with hairy feet and a striped thorax (Hanging-thieves robber fly)

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Hanging-thieves robber fly
by: Moni

Cori
Your insect is a robber fly called hanging-thieves because they hang by their forelegs while they eat.

This robber fly, like all robber flies feed on other insects...sometimes they catch insects larger than themselves. They do prefer to eat mostly wasps, but will also eat dragonflies, damselflies and other flies. The larva live in the soil and are probably predators there.

There is a concern that these flies can be a pest if they prey on honey bees.

These robber flies are found all over North America in woodland and open areas. They prefer to hunt in shaded woodlands.

They are not known to bite humans.

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