Jerusalem Cricket
It's named after Jerusalem, but it's
not from Jerusalem at all!

The Jerusalem Cricket, also known as the "Potato Bug" (it looks like a potato... really!), is a large, brown bug that often reaches 2½”. It is named after the city of Jerusalem. It is also often called "“the old bald man”.

However, in fact, it is not at all a "Jerusalemite"... nor can it be found anywhere around Israel... So when making those Israel travel plans, don't expect to encounter Mr. Potato! Uh.... I mean, Mr. Cricket! :)

Photo by Magnus Manske/Babbage

This bug can't fly. It eats potatoes (no, just kidding!) - they actually eat other insects and veggies. They use their highly adapted feet to burrow and dig under moist soil to feed on roots and tubers.

This insect is originally from the West part of the U.S.A. and can be found also in its southern neighbor - Mexico.

They can bite, but they are not poisonous (although many think they are).

So Why Is It Named a "Jerusalem Cricket"?:

Well, to first solve the "cricket" mystery, like real crickets these insects produce a song during mating and they maneuver around by hopping.

As for "Jerusalem" - no one really knows, but some say that once this bug was named a "skull insect" and thus it was thought to be reference to Skull Hill - near the place where Jesus Christ was crucified in Jerusalem. Is this true? I don't know - but it's a nice explanation, don't you think? :)