The term 'sandgropers' has a long history as a colloquial name for people born and raised in Western Australia. Less well known is its application to a group of unusual insects found in this state but not restricted to it. Sandgropers spend most of their time underground. They are moderately large insects, adults attaining lengths of 35-88 mm, depending on species. Their bodies are highly modified for burrowing, being very elongated and cylindrical with reduced appendages. Wings are entirely absent and the ‘compound’ eyes are reduced to simple eyes. The fore legs are highly modified for burrowing and no longer look like legs, being very short, strongly flattened and situated either side of the head. The mid and hind legs, situated nearer the middle of the body, are also comparatively small and recess into the sides of the body.
While sandgropers were once regarded as degenerate mole crickets, they have been shown to be more closely related to grasshoppers and locusts and are now classified within their own family, Cylindrachetidae, in the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets).
reference: website Museum of Western Australia - www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/natscience/invertebrates/Sandgropers.asp