Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.

Cockroaches will definetly outlive humans.
I found a large American Cockroach in my bedroom, as they tend to freak me out, I grabbed a large knife from my dresser and sliced it alongside the upper abdomen. Both parts continued to move. It laid still for a moment, but when I went to pick it up, the body made a run for it. It ran about 5 feet and stopped. I picked it up again and put it on my dresser, with the head. The head was moving it’s mouth and little mandible things quickly, it looked very mad. I took pictures of it, and a video so I could prove it was still moving. Then I started to feel bad for it and cut it’s head from it’s abdomen, thinking that would surely do it in. Of course it didn’t, because apparently the brain doesn’t have much to do with it. I packed it into a plastic bag, went on the internet to investigate (make sure it was really a cockroach). I found your site. Now, I read the cockroach page, the unnecessary carnage page, and the bug love page. I felt much worse for killing it. Then I got up to get a soda, walking past the plastic bag I noticed the one of the cockroach’s legs is still moving. It’s been at least 30 minutes now since I first killed it. Is this normal? I think I may have some super cockroach strain. I know the praying mantis males compulate without their heads, but how long can an insect go without a head?

Hi Patrick,
I’m not sure I can answer your question accurately. Death of the Cockroach is imminent. The exact moment of death in any being is definitely a hot topic worth debating, and science and religion are often at odds. Chickens run about without heads but that is usually a matter of seconds or minutes at most. I think the Cockroach accomplished quite a feat by provoking both your sorrow, your pondering and your subsequent webwearch. We believe much of what you observed was reflex reaction. Our question to you is “What is a large knife doing on your bedroom dresser?”

Update (02/06/2006)
Hey Guys!
This is just a comment for the carny page. The decapetated roach that was still moving after 30 mins is quite normal. I read once that a roach is able to live for 7 days without a head and will thus eventually die of hunger. This was proven with a test I did, my headless roach lasted 5 days. I think the 30 min roach didn’t make it for that long cause of the fact that the knife took more that just the head. I’ll see if I can find the articel for you again. Nways, Great Site! Love it!
Hardus Swanepoel

Beetle Ant?
Dear, Whats That Bug,

Hello, my name is Joshua and I need some help identifying this bug. It looks like it is half beetle, half ant, and is about an inch and a quarter long. I live in Huntsville, Alabama attached are some pictures that i took of the bug. Note: The large yellow spot is part of the pin I used to hold the bug.

Hi Joshua,
We feel the pain being endured by the poor impaled False Bombardier Beetle, genus Galerita. These are Ground Beetles and they are predatory. They are not at all harmful to you or your pets or your lovely beige carpet.

Hold your stomach.
I have NO clue as to what kind of bug this is. I searched your site and there is nothing there. I Googled without luck. I’m sending a picture (I guess this will end up in your Carnage section….sorry) hopefully you can identify. The bug was about 4 inches long I’m in Nevada, Reno. I have never seen this bug before. Any ideas?
Thanks for your help.
Teri D.

Hi Teri,
Your poor smooshed Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket could easily be the poster child for our Unnecessary Carnage page.

is this a Pigeon Horntails, Tremex columba???
This thing came flying in my house this morning and scared me and my dog! i grabbed the broom and killed it! then brought it to work to see if anyone had see anything like it before. no one had a clue. so i googled and found your website and after looking around the site, i’m guessing it’s a Pigeon Horntails, Tremex columba? can you confirm that? I live about 30 miles north of Houston in The Woodlands, Texas and I have never seen anything like it. Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks, Jeanie

Hi Jeanie,
While we understand how that long ovipositor can be off-putting, the Giant Ichneumon, Megarhyssa atrata, is harmless to humans. She uses the ovipositor to deposit her eggs in the burrows of wood boring insects, the larval food source. With all the recent publicity about Asian Longhorn Beetles possibly decimating our forests after arriving in this country in wood palettes, the Giant Ichneumons might be our only salvation. I guess your specimen will not be providing any future generations of pest control.

Arizona Bug
I found this little cridder in Yuma, Arizona. I have no idea what it is, but sure someone out there does. Very interested in knowing what it is. Sorry about the picture. I thought I had it resized.
Janet McQuaw

Hi Janet,
The poor dead Solpugid looks almost like it is sleeping. They are fierce predators, but harmless to humans.

big strange bug
First I am very sorry but I do not like bugs. I am honestly afraid of them. They give me the chills. I found this crazy bug on the top of my chair. It looks like a saw on its back and honestly a little prehistoric. It resembles some sort of stink bug. It is rather large. Atleast on my bug standards. lol Thought you may know what it is.

Hi Michelle,
Your poor flattened Wheel Bug was a beneficial predator in your garden before meeting with an untimely demise. In your defense, they will bite painfully if provoked.