I’m a Brit living in Venezuela. I found you while trying to identify (unsuccessfully) a new visitor to our home. We get used to seeing all kinds of weird bugs, but after 12 years here, this is the first time I’ve seen a bug like this one. I guess it’s some sort of cockroach by the underside, but its top shell is like some kind of armour with a translucent "helmet".
Unlike cockroaches we’re used to, this one was fairly slow-moving, and "scuttled" rather than running, somewhat like a woodlouse. It wouldn’t scuttle far, and then seemed to "hunker down" and wait for some aggressive movement before moving again. It doesn’t have wings like the big roaches that fly in from outside, and the "shell" seems to be sticky, with debris stuck to it. My wife didn’t sympathize with my curiosity, and I had to zap it with bug spray to quieten her down. She wouldn’t let me keep it either, so I hope it wasn’t an important bug, because it’s gone to cockroach heaven now. I’ve attached three pictures.
Fascinating website – Congratulations. I spent an interesting couple of hours reading all your entries. Is there anything particularly interesting about the bug I’ve sent? I’d love to know.
Best wishes from Venezuela.
I am not going to be able to help you with an exact species identification, but it is a species of Cockroach from the Order Blattodea. Hogue, one of our favorite experts, sums things up nicely when he writes: “Cockroaches are much maligned insects. A few pesky species ave given a bad name to the whole order of thousands of species, including more than fifty in North America. The few ‘bad’ cockroaches are common household pests in most warm parts of the world. By far the majority of kinds, however, are very interesting ‘wild’ cockroaches that inhabit caves, burrow in sand dunes, live in ant nests, or exhibit other unusual life histories. Cockroaches are also not all drably colored like the familiar household varieties. Many tropical species sport yellow, red, green, and othe colors on their bodies and wings and are quiet beautiful.” Thanks for sending in the photos of a very interesting looking cockroach..