Jerusalem crickets are a group of large, flightless insects of the genus Stenopelmatus . Despite their common name, Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets; nor are they native to Jerusalem. They are nocturnal insects who use their strong mandibles to feed primarily on dead organic matter and other insects. They burrow beneath moist soil to feed on decaying root plants and tubers. Jerusalem crickets are not venomous, but they can bite pretty hard. They are often called Nino de la Tierra (Child of the Earth) and are the subject of a large number of local stories.