223 Cidade

Bug Doe: help needed to identify unknown insect

Animals, Border hopping, Nature, Photo

Today I need your help. But first a warning: if looking at a bug gives you goosebumps, then


Please don’t. If a creature like this slithered in my living room, I would call the police and buy another house!

But I still need to know what kind of insect this is. It was HUGE, and crossed my path in Portugal. It has the tail of an earwig, but it is easily ten, perhaps twenty times bigger than the Dutch version. Perhaps it was the Mother of all Earwigs. The Queen of Bugland.

I got real close. But if it would have spread its wings, I would have fainted.

Can you please help me in naming this beast?


It is indeed a Mole Cricket, the Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa. They grow up to 4.5 centimeter… except ‘our’ specimen was MUCH bigger, it was as at least 7 centimeter! V-man says 7, but I say 10. 

Thank you all so much for helping me out on this. Tim on Facebook thought it was a locust, Mike here and Selma through mail helped me to find the Mole Cricket. In Dutch it is called Veenmol. More Google images can be found here.

Another mystery solved. Now I can sleep again. I hope. But I fear the beast has burrowed its appearance into my retina… sweet dreams.

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Reader, writer, word player. No lady, but all woman. RPGamer. Caretaker of lads and cats, dungeons & dragons. Torn between English & Dutch.

24 thoughts on “Bug Doe: help needed to identify unknown insect”

  1. Marion,

    You may want to avoid Florida in the March-April time frame. We had several evenings where we were invaded by mole crickets. They were EVERYWHERE!


    • Thank you for the warning, Gil! I will make sure NOT to visit Florida around that time. I would have locked myself in the bedroom.
      Everywhere? *shudders*


  2. Pingback: Mole Cricket « Photos of a Dutchess

  3. poor thing, so despised because of its appearance, tho’ it is rather huge and disgusting, still live and let live? (as long as it is outside my house!) ;)


    • PiP, your poem – and the accompanying photos – is great and funny :) Thanks for the url! Too bad Harold is R.I.P., since our specimen would have been a beautiful female for him.


    • Wow, Mike. That Brazilian Treehopper is indeed one of the most unearthly specimens there is! And I love to look at them – but from a safe distance. ;)
      Thanks for finding the information on the mole cricket, I have updated my post in red.


  4. Mike says:

    I thought cricket and googled that and found this site, with a similar encounter


    I think it’s a type of cricket and imho you did well not to destroy it. I was brought up and taught that if something doesn’t bother you, don’t bother it.

    I also think maybe you made a new friend.


    • Have commented on Piglet’s post. Her bug’s name was Harold hehehe, and he was also a mole cricket.
      You were taught well, Mike. These aliens might scare the hell out of us, but they don’t do it on purpose, never on purpose. Perhaps there’s a very sweet attitude underneath all that chitin ;)
      Please don’t judge me when I don’t want to shake my new friend’s hand, paw, leg, antenna.


  5. Ik weet niet wat het is, maar het kijkt behoorlijk gemeen uit zijn of haar oogjes. Ik raad een heel grote spuitbus aan.


    • Ach nee, hij/zij deed toch niets? Volgens mij waren wij nou net de monsters in die ‘gemene’ oogjes, haha. Maar ik krijg nog steeds de rillingen, Apie!


    • It really looks like one, Reggie, thanks! But this one was really enormous. I have never seen anything like it. Do earwigs have queens too, like bees?


  6. Karin says:

    Hey Marion,
    Asked my husbie if he knew the answer but he doesn’t know.

    We looked at google but still no answer.

    Good luck and let us know if you find out what it is.

    With love x


    • Thanks for searching for an answer, Karin & Hubsie :)
      I even dragged the photo straight into Google Images (learned that trick from my eldest son), but nothing came up.


  7. I don’t know what it is, but I think it might be pregnant. That back end looks plump as all get out. But since I don’t know what it is, it is just a guess on my end that it is a mom to be.


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