What caused this bug (Jerusalem Cricket, I think) to do this after being stepped on?

A long time ago when I was a little kid I was in my garage playing darts one day and I saw this pretty big bug crawling around. It kinda freaked me out due to its size so I went to get my dad. He came out and told me that it was a 'potato bug' and that I had nothing to worry about before stomping on it with his cowboy boot. Anyway, 5-10 minutes after I had returned to my game I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye where the dead bug was. I looked over and saw that its insides had started to squirm away from the rest of its body. Now this seriously freaked me out so I went to get my dad again. When I came back with him the bug's insides were a good two feet away from its body and still squirming around. My dad couldn't explain it, just scooped it up with a shovel and flung it out into the street, and I've been left with this very vivid memory of this freaky situation with no explanation as to what caused it for all these years.

For the sake of being as detailed as I can be I must state that I may not be correct in the kind of bug it was. I just remember what my dad called it and, on other occasions upon seeing what I think was the same kind of bug, that the best way to kill it was to flip it on its back. Anyway, I'm hoping someone can explain this to me as it is a situation that has left me very curious ever since it happened.

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A lot of cricket relatives get a parasite called horsehair worm. The worms don't die immediately after the cricket is killed, and may try to get away from whatever killed their host. The worms can get very long and may take up a pretty large portion of the inside of a cricket. I would bet that this is what you saw.

    The worms have a pretty crazy life history if you're interested: They "hijack" their host's nervous system, and cause them to seek out water. Once the host has found a body of water, the parasite explodes out and leaves the dying host behind, and swims away to find a mate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematomorpha

  • leflar
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Jerusalem Bug

  • 4 years ago

    First of all i trust ur query. However look cricket or every other activity has end up a wing of soiled politics. Previously we handled Pakistan as our enemies and we did not play with them. And just lately two indian infantrymen had been killed brutally with the aid of Pak squaddies or militants. And because of that we've by no means seen any progress in the IPL selection for Pak avid gamers. To be honest no Pak participant is given a single threat. Why? We need to no longer all link cricket to politics and as a consequence is managed through Inter countrywide Cricket Council(ICC). ICC has the right to take these imperative choices not the nation boards. Same like UNO does it with the disorders all over the place the arena. However right here again politics is taking part in a game with srilankan gamers. Bad success to the srilankan gamers. I feel very sorry. And why no longer? 2 to three years back srilankan group was attacked via terrorists in Pakistan. But srilanka did not smash the relations with Pakistan. Why? No answer! Again the 2 nations persevered with their video games in srilanka and UAE respectively. The same will have to be adopted via our nation too.

  • 8 years ago

    These critters have a central nervous system in place of a brain. As long as it is functioning, there can be movement in appendages until their is no longer any hemolymph (bug blood) to move.

    Jerusalem crickets (aka potato bugs) are really quite harmless. They can bite if grabbed in the hand, but these are beneficial insects that feed on bad bugs that live in the ground. There is really no need to kill them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7homz6DMMpk

    Youtube thumbnail

    Source(s): Been around bugs and spiders 50 years
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.