Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coming to grips with cockroaches

What have we here?

It's not a rhetorical question. My limited reference library doesn't cover this dark but presumably common cockroach found marching across a sunlit track in Tyto today. It crawled on to my hand without great ado but persisted in turning away from the camera.

Nothing of importance to this except to put a point of view: that bush cockroaches don't arouse the instinctive distaste and not infrequent fury attending their houshold cousins.

Though not, in general, particularly squeamish, I'd rather not 'dirty' my hands with household roaches. A rolled magazine or newspaper is my preferred disposal method. And pickup by way of plastic bag.

But I live in an old caravan. Seasonal roaches are inevitable, with or without nasty bait traps. If the choice is letting a big female stroll across my bedding or grabbing it and flinging it outside, I swoop to grab and fling.

On the other hand, meet a cockroach, big or small, plain or multicoloured, in the bush and I want to say gidday and 'shake hands'.

In similar vein, how would you react if after grabbing an Asian House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) off a curtain it disappeared and then came the feel of grippy little footsteps down the spine inside the shirt?

Happened to me yesterday. At first I felt a quiver of disquiet and then I had to laugh at the absurdity of the moment. The gecko's still somewhere in the caravan.


Snail said...

That's an impressive cockroach.

I'm the same as you about the introduced ones. I've had to pick them up in lab classes, when I'm 'setting an example' but if there's no pressure on me, they get the sole of my shoe.

As for geckoes --- I once accidentally squashed a gecko that was sitting in a door jamb. As I shut the door, the gecko dropped its tail ... on my head. That is not an experience I want to repeat!

Mosura said...

I'll take the Gecko over the roach any day.

I don't know what your cockroach is. There are five Australian families of Blattodea. They are separated based on the genitalia so unless it's a rather distinctive looking species it's not easy for an amateur to ID them. Having said that, being a large and wingless cockroach probably places it in the family Blattidae.

Hopefully someone else may recognise it.

Tyto Tony said...

So, geckos rule. But the Asian has displaced and depleted natives. And they're probably too small to tackle roaches.

mick said...

An interesting post about interesting 'beasties'!

Ospreys beg for privacy after latest tragedy

Sad news from pair of Ospreys in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park today. 'We've lost our expected increase,' one of ...