Friday, 14 September 2012

Dominos

Image: Wikipedia
Therea petiveriana
It may surprise you to learn that some cockroaches are quite handsome. They just aren't the ones who are attracted to that filthy pile of rotting debris you keep in your kitchen. That stinking hillock that had the police coming round after reports of a "suspicious smell". That putrefying mound that various wildlife agencies are trying to turn into a nature reserve because of its unique, endemic species and scientific interest. Some cockroaches just aren't into that sort of thing.

The Domino Cockroach, also known as the Seven-spot Cockroach and the Desert Cockroach, is one of them. They come from the dry, scrublands of southern India, spending the hot days hidden beneath leaves or buried in loose soil. They are crepuscular, most active around dusk and dawn while avoiding the brightness of day and the darkness of night.

Image: Burke Museum via Flickr
They start out as teeny, tiny nymphs who spend most of their time underground and it'll take them almost a whole year before they emerge as adults about 2.5 cm (an inch) long.

They share their territory with a rather interesting beetle...

Image: Wikipedia
Anthia sexguttata
The Six-spot Ground Beetle, a brutal predator of insects and snails. These beasts have a strong bite and can also spray chemicals in self defence. Contrast that with the harmless Domino Cockroach feasting on little more than rotting vegetation and you can see why they may have wanted to mimic their more confidently sadistic kin.

I mean, let's face it, if the Domino Cockroach was the size of a tiger, it would definitely be adorning the homes of strange people as a rug on the floor.

5 comments:

FaustXIII said...

I never thought these words could go together: cute cockroach! :D

TexWisGirl said...

i would not have guessed the first one to be a cockroach. would have said more like a formally-dressed ladybug. :)

Comment1 said...

@FaustXIII: I know! It's so round, too!

@TexWisGirl: Hahah! I wish I'd thought of that!

Gwyn Stiles said...

It definitely looked cute, initially, then you noticed those hairy little legs. Ugh, it still send chills to my bone.

-Gwyn Stiles

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Awww, but... the cute li'l legs!

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