Strange looking bug

It’s not often we have genuine mysteries in our lives, even rarer still for us to go for weeks in the dark and finally solve it after a serendipitous insight. This is what happened to me recently over a strange looking bug.

Until the house I’m in now, my biggest garden (in my adult life) was only marginally larger than the desk I’m sitting at. So when I started digging around in real soil, planting some poor botanical specimen that was destined to die, I nearly had a heart attack when a 5cm long earwig-like creature crawled out of the dirt and nearly touched my hand. Before I could recover and investigate further a magpie came over and ate it! I was secretly grateful.

Since then I’ve had about six of these experiences (I now wear gloves so it seems a little less dangerous) and in all this time I’ve never been able to work out what the creature is. When my friend, who has a much better experience of gardening than I do, saw the thing on a visit to my house even she did not know what it was. I had a genuine mystery.

I scoured the internet, but my educated keywords brought back nothing. I decided there was nothing for it but to catch one to take to the university and start thinking up how best to represent myself in its name when it turned out to be a new species (natbug, pottus buggus).

With my jar always at the ready, I wasn’t running into them again. I was getting frustrated. Finally I turned back to Google and typed in ‘strange looking bug’. While the first couple of image lines looked something like this;

Strange looking bug

There, on about the fifth line of images, was my strange looking bug. It is a relatively common Mole Cricket.

Mystery solved.

P.S. Once I manage to take a photo of it I’ll come back and attach it to the post sans-googly eyes.

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