Currently viewing the category: "Cockroaches"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Whats that bug?
Location: Kalgoorlie, WA
January 14, 2013 11:06 am
Hi Bugman,
I wondered if you would be able to help identify this bug? I found it 14/1/13 in my back yard in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. It’s body was about 2-2.5 ins long, it looks like a cockroach, but i’m really not sure. Thanks!
Signature: Jenny, Kalgoorlie, WA

Mardi Gras Cockroach

Hi Jenny,
You were very astute to recognize this as a Cockroach since it is considerably more colorful than most Cockroaches that people are familiar with.  We quickly identified it as a Bush Cockroach,
Polyzosteria mitchelli, on the Esperance Blog.  We try our best to find credible verification of identifications that we discover on blogs, and BioLib as well as the Agriculture of Western Australia websites confirmed that identification.  Esperance Fauna refers to this species as the Mardi Gras Cockroach and indicates:  “… Polyzosteria mitchelli would have to be one of the most striking with its brilliant color combination. It is mainly recorded from the semi-arid areas of WA, SA and NSW, where always a delight to encounter.  I have found it (usually on shrubby vegetation) from coastal heath to inland mallee flora, including saltlakes and granite outcrops, so although not common, it is very widespread. Growing to 5 cm (2”) in length, it is quite stout and not very fast when compared to the troublesome introduced species that commonly invade houses. The local forms have a bronze background colouration, but apparently metallic green shades have been found in SA.”  Thank you for supplying us with a marvelous addition to our What’s That Bug? Downunder tag.

Mardi Gras Cockroach

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small bug found inside
Location: Tulsa, OK
December 28, 2012 1:21 am
We live in Tulsa, OK and today I found this small bug. His body was perhaps 1/4” long. And no, we do not have a live Xmas tree.
Thanks for your help identifying this visitor!
Signature: Trixie in Tulsa

Cockroach Nymph

Dear Trixie in Tulsa,
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have an immature Cockroach.  Since it is not mature, you do not have to worry about it reproducing, however, it may have siblings or parents also living in your home.  It appears from your second photo that the Cockroach is contemplating a dash into the kitchen where there is food stored, no doubt.

Cockroach Nymph

We have been fighting the cockroaches for months thanks to some trashy neighbors, but this one looks different than the others.  Also, we haven’t seen any roaches for several weeks so we were sort of hoping we were finished with them!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: confused
Location: florida
November 19, 2012 12:26 pm
What’s this big?
Signature: english

Metamorphosis of a Cockroach

Dear english,
We wish your photo had more detail.  We believe you have photographed the metamorphosis of a Naiad, the aquatic nymph of a flying insect with incomplete metamorphosis.  Some insects that have larvae known as Naiads include Dragonflies, Damselflies, Mayflies, and Stoneflies.  There is something that does not seem quite right about any of those possibilities.  The head of this insect looks almost like that of a Grasshopper, but the hind legs are not long enough for a Grasshopper.  It it turns out that this is the metamorphosis of some land insect like a Cricket, then this would be a documentation of the Metamorphosis of a Nymph, which is a term with a larger umbrella.  All Naiads are nymphs, but not all nymphs are Naiads.  This Tree Cricket Information page with photos and videos is pretty awesome.

We just received a comment that believes this may be a Cockroach Metamorphosis.  That is a very good possibility.  The morphology looks correct.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this some kind of roach?
Location: Harper, TX
October 20, 2012 4:45 pm
Never seen this one before. Looks like a roach from the underside, but it’s topside is like a giant flat doodle bug with fewer segments. It has a reddish ”tail”, maybe a female. It’s not ver clear from the photo. Burrowed in the grass/ground to hide.
Signature: K Bernsen

Boll’s Sandroach

Dear K Bernsen,
While you are correct that this Boll’s Sandroach is a Cockroach, it is not a species that infests homes.  This is a wingless female Boll’s Sandroach, 
Arenivaga bolliana, or another member of the genus.   Males, which are capable of flying, are frequently attracted to lights.  According to BugGuide:  “The downy females have no wings and burrow in the dust under houses and in natural rock shelters where they feed on packrat droppings.”  We believe the reddish “tail” is an ootheca or egg case.  The female will carry it about until she finds a suitable place to deposit it.

Female Boll’s Sandroach with Ootheca


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID_Beetle perhaps?
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
October 16, 2012 5:49 pm
This summer I have had somewhat of an infestation of these bugs outside my house. If I set a box outside on the ground, they would infest the box. Have not seen many recently, but keep seeing them occasionally skittering across my second floor kitchen on the counter. Now I need to find out what they are, what they eat and why they are coming indoors. This is one I whacked on my counter. Fortunately, I did not totally smash it. Thank you in advance for your help.
Signature: K. D.

Cockroach Parts

immature cockroach

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so very much for your prompt response. I think that your website is fantastic. That is why I had to send you a pic for ID. It was taking me way to long. I was only on the 24th page of beetles after two hours of looking. Due to my seriously inquisitive ADD nature, I just had to keep stopping and reading about every interesting pic. At the rate I was going, I was never going to ID this critter…….lol.  I now have your site bookmarked for further pleasure reading. Great work you have done!
Now that I have identified it further as the Phyllodromica trivittata (courtsy of your website), I do not think I need to take any further eradication action at this time. From all I have read so far, they do not seem to really be a household pest. sightings in the house have been sporadic. If that changes in the future though, I will go after them. I will see how it goes next summer.  I hope you have a great day!

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the followup.  Your letter was one of our attempts to respond to as many requests as possible, hence the short ID.  We are happy you learned the identity of your immature Cockroach on our site and that you have decided not to take any eradication measures, but we are most happy to hear that you have found our archives interesting.  Your response really made our morning and we sifted through the trash to fine your original request so that we could make a posting.  Here is what BugGuide states about this species:  “Reports of high abundance both indoors and outdoors make it likely that reproduction is occurring outdoors with subsequent invasion of nearby structures. As this species adapts to this new environment, studies will need to be conducted to confirm this.”
  BugGuide continues with:  “Known from dry habitats around the Mediterranean. It has been recorded from Morocco; Algeria; Spain; Italy (Sardinia Island); Italy (Sicily); Libya; and Israel. Given that it has not been recorded as being a pest in buildings in those countries (as far as I’m aware) it is unlikely to invade buildings in the USA. Comment by George Beccaloni (The Natural History Museum, London, UK).”  As a note, we always tend to worry about introduced species that thrive in a new environment as they can displace native species and reduce species diversity once they become established.

Update:  November 2, 2012
Here is a good link to send out for this bug to people in California. Some great pics. Invasive species are a good argument against global commerce.
Volume 25 (2011) (10MB); covering the years 2008-2009  Page 7

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: who is my friend?
Location: Nashville, TN
September 16, 2012 7:57 pm
Found this guy in my hotel room. Slow moving and peaceful. Gone when i got back in the evening. hope they didn’t exterminate.
Signature: curious

i found it!
on  your site…looks like a cave cockroach.
it was very pretty.


Dear curious,
This is indeed a Cockroach, but it is not a Cave Cockroach.  We may be wrong, but it looks more to us like an American Cockroach.  According to BugGuide:  ” They are significant pests throughout the world. They are not native to the Americas at all. They come from tropical Africa. They were probably transported to the Americas on slave ships.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination