Monday, April 18, 2011


I think this is a cockroach nymph, but I'm not positive. I've been seeing these little guys in the woods of California for many years, but never paid them much attention. Having lived for some years in the Deep South where the 2"-long types prefer to be indoors, I guess I've had enough experience to last a lifetime. I do have some positive memories of their being a good experimental animal in some of my biology classes. If they were properly anesthetized and fastened down, one could push the wings aside or remove them. The "skin" of the back was translucent so we could see the heart beat through it. Then, of course, we subjected the poor critter to various chemical and mechanical stimuli that could alter the heartbeat. Voila! An experiment. I also remember walking on New Orleans' very uneven sidewalks on humid nights and barely seeing them scurry out from underfoot in the dark. That never bothered me, but having them scurry away from my plate on restaurant tables did. It took a while for me to prefer the presence of cockroaches to the over-use of toxic chemicals to prevent them. Some restaurants were nearly unbearable shortly after a spraying. The cancer rate in such places must be horrendous.
Anyway, today's cockroach, if indeed that is what it is, was encountered while I was looking for a particular flower, the tiny rose-colored one in a recent post that I have yet to identify. The one I thought might be a type of Gilia. The cockroach brought back memories - mostly pleasant ones. In California, I have never found them in the house. And we don't spray. :)

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