Friday, June 3, 2011

When rotten luck is good luck

I needed some well decomposed logs to prepare for a hands-on activity during our upcoming summer camp at the arboretum.  My own personal little stash is just about gone, used up over the years in my demonstration of "how the rainforest recycles itself".

So some of my arboretum friends have provided some old rotten logs for me, and in one box-full yesterday I was lucky to find some buggy stow-aways in with the wood.  Of course I was secretly (or maybe not so secretly) hoping this would happen, so I went through the box slowly and carefully, with my camera at the ready, and a couple of containers nearby.

arboreal camel cricket
I found 3 arboreal camel crickets.  I think they are genus Gammarotettix.
They are small, kind of plump looking, and they have no wings at all, so not only can they not fly, but they can't chirp like other crickets. (You know, don't you, that crickets make their chirping sounds by rubbing their wings together in a process called stridulation?)

arboreal camel cricket

arboreal camel cricket
Look how smooth this one's back looks.

arboreal camel cricket
The long appendage sticking out in back is the ovipositor. That's the egg-laying aparatus. This is a female.

arboreal camel cricket
This guy doesn't have an ovipositor, so I know he's a "guy!"

Not sure what I'm going to do with these guys (and girls). They came from the mountains, a couple of hours' drive from here. For now, I have them in a container with some of their rotten wood, and some old vegetable peelings, which they found tasty enough.

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