What kind of bug is this?
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
February 11, 2011 9:51 pm
Hi, I found this bug in my apartment in Israel and I assume it’s a beetle, but I can’t figure out what kind. Someone told me they thought these sting. Do you know what this is?
This is sure an unusual looking Cockroach. The good news is that of the thousands of species of Cockroaches, only a few actually infest human dwellings, and this is not one of those. The pestilent species have given a bad name to all Cockroaches. Our initial web searches did not produce any matches to this primitive looking Cockroach, but perhaps one of our readers will have luck with a species identification.
Immediate Update: Egyptian Desert Roach
After posting, we decided to search our own archive and we noticed a marked similarity between the pictured specimen and the Boll’s Sand Roach from Texas we posted last year. We then searched the web for images of the family it belongs to, Polyphagidae, and we discovered a Polyphagidae web page with a photo of the Egyptian Sand Roach, Polyphaga aegyptiaca. The proximity of Israel to Egypt leads us to believe you may have encountered an Egyptian Desert Roach. The Bugs in Cyberspace website describes the Egyptian Desert Roach as being: “a very unusual roach species. Females look like large, rounded scarab beetles while males posess long, black wings. Feed them a little dried dogfood, fruits and vegetables.“ The photo included there would indicate that your individual is a female. AllPet Roaches indicates that females have long back legs to ensure that they never get stuck on their backs as well as forelegs engineered for digging in the sand.