Mormon cricket, insect (Anabrus simplex) belonging to the family of grasshoppers and katydids. Found in the Great Plains and Western United States, Mormon crickets grow to a length of approximately 2 in (5 cm) and can be black, green, or brown. Although they have small wings, they cannot fly. In 1848 Mormons in Utah almost lost all their crops to a swarm of these insects. Miraculously, a flock of seagulls appeared in time and ate the crickets. Farmers today use poisons and baits to destroy them.