Love thine Cockroach

A very great deal of people are quite put off by cockroaches. They tend to evoke repulsion in a way that Spiders and Snakes sometimes do suggesting that humans may have a hardwired response built in.  Cockroaches spread germs and we maybe genetically trained to be repulsed. Sadly though our natural fear is naively for all cockroaches when only about 4 species have really evolved to associate with humans.  There are over 4600 species of cockroach currently described almost all of which are harmless. Cockroaches occupy many different habitats and they began their evolution away from termites in the Devonian, about 150 million years before Dinosaurs. Maybe we should actually give them a bit more respect then no? Like as in respect your elders. Also think about this: 4 out of 4600 species of cockroach are invasive or troublesome but for the Great Apes it is 1 (guess who!) out of 7, a much greater proportion.

Here are some pics I took recently of a Burrowing Cockroach which I believe is a member of the Blaberidae, or the Giant Cockroaches.  When I handled him he was very powerful and could wedge or push under my hands in the same way that a mole cricket and other burrowing things can.  Here are some pics:

Blaberidae
Blaberidae

 

giant cockroach
giant cockroach upside down
Blaberidae
Blaberidae

 

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Interesting Beetles Emerging with rains.

Some great insects have been emerging recently with the beginning of our rains. This is a long-horned beetle that is likely a borer as an immature. I suspect its host is an Acacia species:

long-horned beetle
long-horned beetle

The following is a Weevil I beleive (but its shape is also reminiscent of a Tenebrionid Beetle) . There are hundreds around these days

weevil
weevil

:

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Rhino Beetle with Whip Scorpion Parasites

rhino dung beetle
rhino dung beetle

We found this Rhino Beetle the other day and as we were examining him we noticed several Whip Scorpions attached to the back of his abdomen. I remember in EO Wilsons book “The Diversity of Life” a description of another Whip Scorpion parasite on another beetle. Interesting, I wonder if this species is described.

rhino dung beetle
rhino dung beetle

rhino dung beetle-2

– Also see other smaller egg type things near the Whip Scorpion. I don’t know if these are eggs or another parasite.

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