Mole Cricket, a large cricket that lives in shallow underground burrows. It is found in many parts of the world. The dark-brown body, 1 ½ to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) long, is covered with short, silky hair. The insect's short forelegs have shovel-shaped claws adapted for rapid digging. The mole cricket has short, strong wings and can fly long distances. It usually flies at night and is attracted by strong lights. The common American mole cricket eats insect larvae and earthworms, and also damages the roots of grass, potatoes, turnips, and peanuts. A West Indian species, the changa, is particularly injurious to sugarcane. Mole crickets' eggs are laid in loose clusters in underground cells.
The American mole cricket is Neocurtilla hexadactyla; changa, Scapteriscus vicinus. Both belong to the mole cricket family, Gryllotalpidae.