Subject: What’s this insect?
Geographic location of the bug: Outer Eastern Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Time: 06:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi bugman, just wondering what these are. They are swarming a chilli bush. I’m thinking they’re predatory, but I’m not sure.
How you want your letter signed: Andy G
This is a Beautiful Cockroach nymph, Ellipsidion australe, and though it is not a predatory species, it is also not a species that will infest homes. According to the Brisbane Insect site: “Not all cockroaches are ugly. This Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach looks beautiful. Its body is orange-brown to dark brown with white patterns. Its thorax is dark brown with a good looking yellow around the edge. The cockroach adult is winged, with brown forewings covered the black and white abdomen. Male and female look almost the same. Nymphs have the similar body structure except wingless. …They are very good runners. This Cockroach is active at day time, running openly on the leaves and flowers. Most other cockroaches are scavengers, they feed on almost everything. We are not exactly sure what this Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach feeds on, but they are always found on plants, seldom on the ground. They are believed feeding on pollen, honeydew and mould fungus. “