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Kingdom  Animalia
Scientific name  Rhaphidophoridae
Higher classification  Ensifera
Phylum  Arthropoda
Suborder  Ensifera
Order  Orthoptera
Rank  Family
Rhaphidophoridae mississippientomologicalmuseumorgmsstateeduima
Superfamily  Rhaphidophoroidea Walker, 1869
Similar  Insect, Orthoptera, Cricket, Gordioidea, Scutigeromorpha

Camelcricket rhaphidophoridae

The orthopteran family Rhaphidophoridae includes the cave weta, cave crickets, camelback crickets, camel crickets, spider crickets (sometimes shortened to "criders", or "land shrimp" or sprickets") and sand treaders, of the suborder Ensifera. Those occurring in New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania are typically referred to as jumping or cave weta. Most are found in forest environments or within caves, animal burrows, cellars, under stones, in wood or in similar environments. They are characterized in part by their long antennae and legs. The well-known field crickets are from a different superfamily (Grylloidea) and only look vaguely similar, while members of the family Tettigoniidae may look superficially similar in body form.


Rhaphidophoridae Nature in the Ozarks Camel Cricket Family Rhaphidophoridae

Cave crickets rhaphidophoridae


Rhaphidophoridae Camel Crickets Cave Crickets and Cave Weta Family

Most cave 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 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long in body and 10 centimetres (3.9 in) for the legs. The bodies of early instars may appear translucent.

Rhaphidophoridae Florida Nature Unidentified Rhaphidophoridae camel crickets cave

As the name suggests, cave crickets are commonly found in caves or old mines. However, species are also known to inhabit other cool, damp environments such as rotten logs, stumps and hollow trees, and under damp leaves, stones, boards, and logs. Occasionally, they prove to be a nuisance in the basements of homes in suburban areas, drains, sewers, wells and firewood stacks. One has become a tramp species from Asia and is now found in hothouses in Europe and North America. Some reach into alpine areas and live close to permanent ice — the Mount Cook "flea" and its relatives in New Zealand.


Rhaphidophoridae Weta families Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae Our Wild World

Their distinctive limbs and antennae serve a double purpose. Typically living in a lightless environment, or active at night, they rely heavily on their sense of touch, which is limited by reach. While they have been known to take up residence in the basements of buildings, many cave crickets live out their entire lives deep inside actual caves. In those habitats, they sometimes face long spans of time with insufficient access to nutrients. Given their limited vision, cave crickets will often jump towards any perceived threat in an attempt to frighten it away. Although they look intimidating, they are completely harmless.

Rhaphidophoridae Rhaphidophoridae Wikipedia

The group known as "sand treaders" are restricted to sand dunes, however, and are adapted to live in this environment. They are active only at night, and spend the day burrowed into the sand, to minimize water loss. In the large sand dunes of California and Utah, they serve as food for scorpions.

Interactions with humans

Rhaphidophoridae FileRhaphidophoridaeprofilejpg Wikimedia Commons

Cave and camel crickets are of little economic importance except as a nuisance in buildings and homes, especially basements. They are usually "accidental invaders" that wander in from adjacent areas. They may reproduce indoors, especially in situations that provide continuous dark, moist conditions, such as a basement, shower or laundry area, as well as organic debris (e.g. compost heaps) to serve as food. They are fairly common invaders of homes in Hokkaido and other cool regions in Japan, where they are called kamado-uma or colloquially benjo korogi (literally "toilet cricket").

Subfamilies and genera

  • Subfamily Aemodogryllinae — cave crickets: Asia (Korea, Indochina, Russia, China)
  • Voighthopper
  • Diestrammena (= Tachycines)
  • Eutachycines Storozhenko, 1990
  • Microtachycines Gorochov, 1992
  • Paradiestrammena Chopard, 1919
  • Paratachycines Storozhenko, 1990
  • Adiestramima Gorochov, 1998
  • Diestramima Storozhenko, 1990
  • Gigantettix Gorochov, 1998
  • Megadiestramima Storozhenko & Gorochov, 1992
  • Tamdaotettix Gorochov, 1998
  • Atachycines Furukawa, 1933
  • Neotachycines Sugimoto & Ichikawa, 2003
  • Subfamily Ceuthophilinae — cave crickets, camel crickets & sand treaders: United States
  • Ammobaenetes Hubbell, 1936
  • Ceuthophilus Scudder, 1863
  • Daihinia Haldeman, 1850
  • Daihinibaenetes Tinkham, 1962
  • Daihiniella Hubbell, 1936
  • Daihiniodes Hebard, 1929
  • Farallonophilus Rentz, 1972
  • Macrobaenetes Tinkham, 1962
  • Phrixocnemis Scudder, 1894
  • Pristoceuthophilus Rehn, 1903
  • Rhachocnemis Caudell, 1916
  • Salishella Hebard, 1939
  • Styracosceles Hubbell, 1936
  • Typhloceuthophilus Hubbell, 1940
  • Udeopsylla Scudder, 1863
  • Utabaenetes Tinkham, 1970
  • Subfamily Dolichopodainae — cave crickets: Mediterranean
  • Dolichopoda Bolivar, 1880
  • Subfamily Hadenoecinae — cave crickets: United States
  • Euhadenoecus[1] Hubbell, 1978
  • Hadenoecus Scudder, 1863
  • Subfamily Macropathinae — cave weta: Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Falkland Islands
  • Australotettix Richards, 1964
  • Cavernotettix Richards, 1966
  • Dendroplectron Richards, 1964
  • Heteromallus Brunner von Wattenwyll, 1888
  • Insulanoplectron Richards, 1970
  • Ischyroplectron Hutton, 1896
  • Isoplectron Hutton, 1896
  • Macropathus Walker, 1869
  • Maotoweta Johns & Cook, 2014
  • Micropathus Richards, 1964
  • Neonetus Brunner von Wattenwyll, 1888
  • Notoplectron Richards, 1964
  • Novoplectron Richards, 1966
  • Novotettix Richards, 1966
  • Pachyrhamma Brunner von Wattenwyll, 1888
  • Pallidoplectron Richards, 1958
  • Pallidotettix Richards, 1968
  • Paraneonetus Salmon, 1958
  • Parudenus Enderlein, 1910
  • Parvotettix Richards, 1968
  • Petrotettix Richards, 1972
  • Pharmacus Pictet & Saussure, 1893
  • Pleioplectron Hutton, 1896
  • Setascutum Richards, 1972
  • Spelaeiacris Peringuey, 1916
  • Speleotettix Chopard, 1944
  • Talitropsis Bolivar, 1882
  • Tasmanoplectron Richards, 1971
  • Udenus Brunner von Wattenwyll, 1900
  • Weta Chopard, 1923
  • Subfamily † Protroglophilinae
  • Protroglophilus Gorochov, 1989
  • Subfamily Rhaphidophorinae — camel crickets: United States
  • Gammarotettix Brunner von Wattenwyll, 1888
  • Subfamily Troglophilinae — cave crickets: Mediterranean
  • Troglophilus Krauss, 1879
  • Subfamily Tropidischiinae — camel crickets: Canada
  • Tropidischia Scudder, 1869
  • An as-yet-unnamed genus was discovered within a cave in Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument, on the Utah/Arizona border, in 2005. Its most distinctive characteristic is that it has functional grasping cerci on its posterior.[2]


    Rhaphidophoridae Wikipedia