Sandgroper (insect)

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Cylindraustralia kochii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Caelifera
Superfamily: Tridactyloidea
Family: Cylindrachetidae
(Giglio-Tos, 1914)


Sandgropers are wholly subterranean larviform insects of the family Cylindrachetidae that may grow up to 7 cm (3 in) long. Three genera are currently recognised: Cylindracheta, Cylindraustralia and Cylindroryctes. Like many subterranean animals, little is known about their habits and diet, but Western Australian farmers have blamed them for substantial crop losses.


Sandgropers were once thought to be degenerate mole crickets, but they are now known to be more closely related to pygmy mole crickets, in the Caelifera: which includes grasshoppers.

Although widely believed to be herbivorous, some have been found with animal remains in their gut.


Popular culture[edit]

In the 1970s, television station TVW Channel 7 in Perth, Western Australia released a stuffed toy sandgroper for sale named "Sunny The Sandgroper", with proceeds going towards Telethon. "Sunny Sandgroper" was then used as a regular character, along with Fat Cat and Percy P Penguin, in TVW-7's 'Earlybirds' morning children's show. West Australians have been known colloquially as sandgropers, with references to the name being found as early as the 1890s.[1]


  1. ^ "Fitzroy City Press". Fitzroy City Press (Vic. : 1881 - 1920). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 31 January 1896. p. 2. Retrieved 23 October 2011.