Jerusalem Cricket Lesson for Kids: Life Cycle & Facts

Instructor: Wendy McDougal

Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education.

The Jerusalem cricket is a large insect that has a unique and distinct look. What are some of its features, and what makes it different from the ordinary cricket? Keep reading to learn more.

An Insect With a Beat

Ever heard of an insect with rhythm? Lots of insects make noise, but not many are as melodic as the cricket! There is a particular species of cricket that serves as the drummer of the group: the Jerusalem cricket. This cricket doesn't ''chirp'' like the others, but makes a rhythmic drumming sound. In addition, some would say that it looks more like a rubber toy than an actual living creature. Join us to learn more about the unusual Jerusalem cricket.

Physical Characteristics of the Jerusalem Cricket

The Jerusalem cricket may sound like it comes from the Middle East because of its name, but it actually makes its home in the western U.S. and parts of Mexico. Like all insects, it has six legs, antennae and a segmented body. But while most crickets resemble their grasshopper cousins, the Jerusalem cricket is an entirely different animal.

The unusual Jerusalem cricket
Jerusalem cricket

The Jerusalem cricket is a large insect, averaging about two inches long. Some species can reach up to three inches! It is light reddish-brown in color, with thick legs and a plump, striped abdomen. Its smooth, round head is extremely large in proportion to the rest of the body. This large, bald head has led to many nicknames, including ''Niña de la Terra'' (Child of the Earth) and ''skull insect.'' Its plump body also makes it a juicy snack for predators.

An Alien Face

The large and distinct face of this cricket has unique features. Strong mouthparts called mandibles can be seen in the mouth area. Two dark, beady eyes peer out, giving it an almost alien-like face. Because of these physical features, the Jerusalem cricket has inspired both fear and superstition. Legend states that this insect has a venomous sting, and that a person will die if the Jerusalem cricket looks at them! Both are untrue, although it can give a painful bite if pestered.

The bald, beady-eyed head of the Jerusalem cricket
Jerusalem cricket

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account