Camel Cricket Poetry

The mail room of a science building is always an interesting place. We receive email notices like, “Your slime mold has arrived!” and “Live crickets in the mail room, no name.” And some days, our mail room is full of beautiful little dead bugs carefully packaged and sent special, just for us. Sometimes the mail room is full of poetry.

Today I opened a package containing both and I had to share [an excerpt]:

On more than one occasion, 
I have briefly observed them in what looked like 
predatory behavior, 
all occurring in the middle of the night on the slick kitchen floor: 
a group of the creatures in a crude circle, 
with a lone big black cricket in the middle.” 
-Participant from Wilmington, Delaware

It’s these little wonders that come both in the mail and submitted to us electronically that help us unlock mysteries that we could never do without you, the willing and engaged participants, all over the world. You send us pictures of camel crickets and tell us stories of your observations. So, now that we’re all digging in our basements, storage spaces and closets for either holiday travels or preparations — take a moment to look around for these silent, jumping crickets.

While we don’t need every specimen mailed to us (and a special thank you to the participant who lovingly packaged these crickets up for us this week!), we do still need clear photo observations recorded for our Camel Cricket Census.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm. And your poetry. Camel cricket haikus, anyone?

By |2014-12-02T12:36:33-05:00December 2nd, 2014|

About the Author:

Lea Shell
Lea Shell is an entomologist and educator who devotes her time convincing others just how wonderfully important insects and microbes are to our lives. She enjoys playing with slime mold, ants, GPS units, climate loggers and interviewing scientists about their middle school experiences.


  1. Avatar
    Carole December 2, 2014 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    You make me wish I had camel crickets instead of silverfish.

  2. Avatar
    Anna July 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    NO NO NO NO NO. I found one on my nightstand when I turned on the light in the middle of the night. I wanted to squash it but it was running SO fast …I was thinking of the mess it would make. They are BIG. It turned around and jumped at me. They can jump way too well. I had to leave the light on and still didn’t go to sleep. After putting my dog safely away the next night I put sticky traps around the dog food dish. I found four stuck the next morning. I might have brought them in when I brought in a bag of dog food that I had stored outside. I will keep putting out the sticky traps at night until I am sure they are gone. The sticky traps would work well for silverfish too.

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