Went to make a cup of tea and found this little fella on the kettle switch this morning:
It reminded me of a grasshopper but I posted the photo on facebook and my friends seem to think it's a silverfish? I was going to pick it up and carry it outside but by the time I'd put my shoes on it had disappeared. So...is the bad news that I have a silverfish infestation, or is this something else? Any help much appreciated!
How big was it? The front end looks a bit like a silverfish but it has what look a bit like developing wings, as well as a projection at the back looking like an ovopositer. Silverfish have three long hairlike projections, and I think shorter legs. You said you thought it was a grasshopper - something about the way it moved maybe, even if it didn't hop as such? Could it be a cricket nymph???
Hi, thanks for your response! It was maybe half a centimetre long.
Maybe "hopper" is the wrong word - all three of its legs were the same legnth, so no 'jumping' legs. I suppose the head reminded me of a grasshopper and the shape/colour of the insect made me think of a garden insect that had wandered inside (or maybe been carried inside, on someone's clothing), rather than a household pest, but on the other hand I had no idea exactly what it was!
I was too hesitant about picking it up partly because I couldn't tell if the white protuberance at the back was a stinger or part of a wing, and partly because I thought I might lose it if it turned out to be a hopping insect. When I tried to take it's picture, it didn't hop actually, but it did walk around trying to avoid the looming camera phone.
The white thing at the back does look like the ovopositer of a female cricket (don't worry, it's more like a trowel than a stinger and couldn't hurt you). But do young crickets have ovopositers? And half cm is very small for a cricket.
Maybe I'm completely wrong. Another possibility (maybe more likely) is the nymph of the cuckoo spit insect (froghopper). But not sure what the white thing at the back could be in that case - unless it was injured in some way???
Over to the experts...
I think you're in the right area with froghopper - that suborder of insects (froghopper, leafhopper etc). Something similar here (also with white bunch of filaments from rear end) -
I was just trying to post a picture that I found, but Jaguarondi beat me to it! http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=364513&page=42 Think we nailed it between us! :-)
Ahh that looks like the feller! You guys are great, thanks for your enthusiasm! Glad I don't have silverfish. I hope I run into it again so that I can put it outside. As I thought, it looks like it needs to be somewhere leafier than my kitchen...