Night of the Giant Grasshopper: what IS this?

Something… something hoppy has shown up at my house in the last few days. One was in the basement, in my father’s workshop, leading to him jumping up and down and screaming like a little girl for me to get it out of here. Another two were found today when my father was cleaning out the hot tub (cue jumping, little-girl screams, ect. He does not like bugs). I’ll admit, even I was a bit taken back by the size of those grasshoppers (or crickets or plague of locusts or whatever), and I’m practically an amateur entomologist.
Google has brought me diddly squat. It doesn’t help that there’s apparently some ratings website called “Grasshopper Too”, which took up most of the results. But even the actual bug-related sites haven’t come up with anything. The closest-looking match I found turned out to be from Australia. (For the record, I live in New Jersey). Then the power went out.
The power’s finally back on, and my efforts remain fruitless. So I turn to you, Teeming Dopers, to figure out what the heck.

Photos:

http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/1791/grasshopper027.jpg
http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/6937/grasshopper031.jpg
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/834/grasshopper032.jpg
http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/9316/grasshopper037.jpg

Relax, Max. It’s a cricket.

Camel cricket:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/37372

Huh. I saw a that picture smaller size, I think, but I didn’t recognize it because it’s all bent up in that picture.

Note that there are several species of camel cricket. The wiki article, with a couple more pictures:

Okay, so the next question is: camel crickets? Did someone think they looked like camels? I suppose they look like they could eat a camel.

(And should I tell my dad that they’re poisonous, carnivorous, and known for turning up in people’s beds, or should I resist the temptation?)

All the pictures I’m seeing on Google are all curled up like in your picture. Ours aren’t like that. At least, they look flat to me.

Well, the one in your second photo (031) looks arched just like the one on bugguide to me. Is that what you mean by “curled up?” Looks the same to me.

Well, kinda… but I have to look carefully to notice it. It seems to me the pictures on the web are super extra curled.

I’ll just put it down to bad posture. :smiley:

We call those graveyard spiders or spider-crickets.

Have you ever read the short story “Heresies of the Huge God” by Brian Aldiss? Your adventures remind me of it.

Well, it does look like it was painted with desert camouflage.

I’ve always thought they were called camel crickets because the arch in their back looks like a camel’s hump.

We get those buggers all over our basement, but the cat and dog make short work of them.

This is one of my least favorite insects. Camel crickets are VERY common in basements and crawlspaces here in central NC.

They actually WANT to jump on you, which I find most unwelcome :frowning:

Uh…how far north do these things live? I’ve never seen a cricket that wasn’t both very small and solid black or tan (the latter only in pet stores), and after this thread I’m sure I never want to.

New Hampshire, huh?

http://bugguide.net/node/view/24633/data

Be glad it’s a camel cricket and not a camel spider. NSFSoS (not safe for scared of spiders)