I remember encountering one of these with my husband about 15 years ago when we were living in Southern California, and I have remained forever scarred by the event and fascinated with the creature. We found it lumbering around inside the little dog-run we had behind our place in the Sunland/Tujunga area, and I believe there was a mild obscenity uttered upon its discovery. I'm not saying by whom. If you haven't seen one of these, I challenge you not to utter your own when you do. Keep in mind this is an insect that averages around 2" long. My husband told me that his grandmother used to call them "children of the earth", which I have since learned is a common Latin American name for them [las niñas de la tierra]. Other common names include variations on the theme "Satan's fetus". Wiki has an article here, or you can check PotatoBugs.com for their amusing FAQ and articles.
Without further ado, I present to you the Jerusalem Cricket:
Aw, he's kind of cute. You can click the image to see the full post on What's That Bug?. Credit for the photo goes to photographer James Steidl, who submitted the image to them.
In completely unrelated news, I've opened a Flickr account. Only two pics uploaded so far, and it may take a while to add more, but it's a start. Also, I've opened my comments here to anyone, so you should no longer need an OpenID or Google account to express your delight over this post. :)