Bug identification request!
May 11, 2014 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I was walking the halls of my dorm last night when I encountered this bug (one, two). It was about 2" long and intimidating enough that my friend and I looked a lot like this kid while we were trying to catch it. We eventually managed set it free outside, but we'd really like to know what exactly we let loose into the world. We're in southern California. Any ideas? Thanks!
posted by brieche to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
Looks like a potato bug, aka Jerusalem cricket.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:41 PM on May 11, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, primalux! This is definitely good to know for future reference! (From wikipedia: "Due to their bizarre appearance, many people are startled by or even afraid of them." hahHAHA yeah)
posted by brieche at 1:40 PM on May 11, 2014

Eww, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one to catch bugs and put them outside, even if I think they are awful. My wife thinks I'm nuts and squishes them in tissues. Barbarian.
posted by karlos at 6:59 PM on May 11, 2014

I was going to say "camel spider" which is another name for sun spider. They're arachnids but not true spiders; sort of midway between a spider and a scorpion. They're not really dangerous, but their bites do hurt, so handle with decorum.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 9:38 PM on May 11, 2014

I don't think it's a potato bug, ottereroticist -- the wikipedia article you linked to shows the potato bug having six legs. This little critter definitely has 8 from the photos the OP posted. That puts it firmly in the arachnid category, and most likely is a spider of some sort.
posted by tckma at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2014

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