Albuquerque Homes and Lifestyle Blog


Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket

A couple of days ago I encountered a Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket.  At the time Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket, Albuquerque NM, John McCormackI didn’t know what this very ugly and quite scary looking creature was.  After carefully taking some close up photos and hoping this little alien didn't jump on my face I escaped without breaking a perfectly good camera.

So I took my photos and did some investigation about this little guy.  Actually he is not a cricket at all and unlike a cricket rubbing their legs together the Child of the Earth creates its mating noises by beating its abdomen on the ground, the allured mate is not hearing the beat but feeling it.  

The Child of the Earth is not venomous but can inflict a painful bite so picking them up is not I was going to!   The Child of the Earth or Jerusalem Cricket eats other small bugs and decaying plant debris and tubers.  

The head of the Jerusalem Cricket has the appearance of a new born child's head thus theClose up of Child of the Earths Head, John McCormack Albuquerque name Child of the Earth, I must say I have seen some ugly babies but none even close to this little monster.  I sure am glad these little aliens are not 6’ tall.

If you do encounter one of these Child of the Earth creatures just let them be, they do a lot more good than bad with exception of scaring unexpecting passers by.  I went out the next day and the Jerusalem Cricket was exactly where I left him so I knew something was wrong, I poked around on it and sure enough it was dead.  I now have him proudly displayed on my entry Niche in hopes of a good laugh from a loud shriek or just an unusual conversation piece.

Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket Up Close and Personal

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Comment balloon 33 commentsJohn McCormack, CRS • July 11 2012 09:12PM


Hi John -- I've never see or heard of Child of the Earth(or Jerusalem Cricket) though some of his traits -- not listening but merely moving to the beat is pretty similar to other species, don't you think?

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 8 years ago

EWWWWWWW, John, I usually love all of your blogs, but this one - NOT!!!! LOL.  Seriously, that was great information.  Good for you for taking the time to find out some fascinating information and sharing with us. 

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) about 8 years ago

John:  I am really sorry but I have a slight phobia to these types of I could not stay on the page long enough to read the post but wanted to stop by anyway!!!  :)

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) about 8 years ago


I have seen these creatures before and they hardly have the face of a child in my mind.  Yukie! I'll not be touching them either, except with maybe a stick or rock!  Now that I know they do more harm than good though, I'll try and leave them alone!:)

Thanks for all the info on them!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) about 8 years ago

Unlike Albuquerque homes, this is an ugly creature John. Thanks for the bug lesson.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 8 years ago

John, That is certainly one odd looking bug.  Don't think I've encountered one in person yet.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 about 8 years ago

Oh John... I too must admit... looking at this is just UGLY.. I am not a but or rhodent or snake person.. EWWW... Hopefully I will never be that close to one of these to even need to identify it.. LOL

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) about 8 years ago

Not sure I've ever heard of this little critter or seen one before, but that's okay by me.............he is one nasty looking thang.................

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 8 years ago

John, really...this is an ugly bug no bones about it...keep it in Albuqurque!!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 8 years ago

John, the easiest way to comment on this is to agree with Roger and move on! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 8 years ago

John, you keep that ugy bug in your neck of the woods!    Amazed you got this close to get these close-up shots!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 8 years ago

Good morning John. I never heard of this creature either. Informative and ugly. Glad this fellow is in your area and not mine. Have a good day.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 8 years ago

John - great nature lesson, and very well recorded. So much in our world is obvious and common, but there is so much also that requires study and close observation. I often use my USB microscope to explore - your pictures validate the rewards. Thanks

Posted by Larry O'Sullivan about 8 years ago

John that is an ugly bug. Must have eaten something that didn't agree with it.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 8 years ago

Never heard of this little guy John, but don't want him around either. Can't believe how close you were able to get him. He looks as if he was posing for you!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing this story, John.  I have not seen one of these bugs.  

Have a most productive month with your camera in hand.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 8 years ago

Good Morning John, It sur eis ugly and looks like abee from behind, seeing i am allergic I may have ran for the hills upon seeing it.  Have a Great Thursday

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 8 years ago

Hmm, how does Debbie feel about your taste in sculptural elements John? Definitely an interesting creature but I will say, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) about 8 years ago

Hi John, I some how envisioned something  different for a CHILD OF THE EARTH. The name

is deceiving . I expected to see a lovely child. But this is a great history lesson.

Have a wonderful day.

Posted by Irene Durocher, (Coldwell Banker BUYERS AGENT) about 8 years ago


What a great of info about something as unusual as this. Leave it to the male to go beating his chest when he wants some. HUMOR, HUMOR, cheers cvc

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) about 8 years ago

This cricket does resemble my second child.

Hey John what lens is this? I am do not have a true macro lens but I just bought some extension tubes to experiment with.

Posted by Steve and Jan Bachman, Realtors - Northern Virginia (RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax ) about 8 years ago

John, the Child of  Earth or Jerusalem Cricket, is definitely one ugly have provided an excellent post on it ... and hope I never see one again :)


Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 8 years ago

Dude! That is one creepy, ugly bug. I doubt that Quentin would even consider eating anything like that, even though it's called a cricket. I'm impressed that you got close enough to get those pictures.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 8 years ago


What I love about your post is that this creature has its own very special purpose in cleaning up debris.  I found him cute and important to nature's scheme.  Have a wonderful Thursday.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 8 years ago

 "If you do encounter one of these Child of the Earth creatures just let them be"

No Problema ... Eeek!!!

Posted by Carie Shapiro (North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate) about 8 years ago

It looks like a crab bug alien combination, and a very ugly one at that.  Glad I haven't encountered one in person.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Good afternoon John.

Thank you for the education...

It does look interesting.

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) about 8 years ago

Hello Friends -

Admittedly I’m surprised most of you find my Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket ugly :)  I found him unique....Go figure. 

The bug guy came to spray he spotted my wonderful Child of the Earth critter proudly displayed in a lit niche.  The bug guy wanted my bug!  Not once or twice but three time he asked if he could have him.  NO - It’s my bug!  Debbie asked so why do you want that thing?  Bug guy said, these are rare finds, most people don’t see them much less have one and he wanted to bottle it up to show off at the business.  No way... No how... This is my bug and he’s staying with me.  Now you know the rest of my Child of the Earth aka Jerusalem Cricket story.


Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 8 years ago

Good for you John, hey I feel the same way about my Scorpion collection my bug guy always stops to see any new additions, I think he thinks I'm a little crazy,(he and my husband), but I'm still keeping my Scorpions, paws off!

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) about 8 years ago

John... you should have let him have the bug... what are you going to do with it now? YUK

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) about 8 years ago

John - I must have missed this one; it's been a crazy week. He's such an interesting looking creature: one I hadn't ever seen before (thank goodness). Thanks for raising our knowledge factor.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) about 8 years ago

Hi John,

I read your title and was 99% sure it was the bug I was think of. We call them potato bugs and I think they are the ugliest and scariest looking bugs I know of. Once I was in my apartment, prior to marriage, I walked down the hall and saw this huge alien looking bug looking at me and making a peculiar noise like it was crying. I called my boyfriend to come over and get it out. I have always been good with spraying 409 on bugs and killing them but this one scared me so I was afraid to get close enough to spray. I finally got the nerve to put a big pot over it and waited for it to be extracted. I was 22 years old and had never seen or heard of this bug before.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) about 8 years ago

This things are creepy looking and thank GOD they are underground and rarely seen on the surface ...

Posted by Eduardo C about 4 years ago