Yes, I am posting about a cockroach. I never expected myself to see a cockroach and say "wow, that's pretty" or feel the need to share more about it. I do, on occasion, enjoy posting pictures of creepy crawlies simply because I am a boy and I like grossing people out from time to time. This particular picture and story is not about that at all.
(Scroll down to the bottom to see the picture...)
A couple of months ago,(2013) I was taking my oldest daughter to youth group at church along with a friend of hers. When we got there, the parking lot was empty. :/
My daughter THEN remembered that the youth group was away at camp. Oh well. We were out and she still wanted to spend some time with her friend. So, we drove over to the local college that has some walking trails by a creek. I LOVE walking in nature and just enjoying what's around. I also LOVE looking for all sorts of creatures.
We walked across a short piece of utility pole(telephone or electric, whatever you'd like to call it) to get to the other side of the creek. We kind of just looked around and talked but while we were there I noticed something crawling under some rocks. (the creeks here in Arkansas have TONS and TONS of rocks)
I picked up a rock to see what it was and it disappeared fairly quickly. I told my daughter I was pretty sure I just saw a cockroach that I had NEVER seen before and, I thought it was interesting. I was pretty sure it had a red head... Yes, a red head. I wasn't sure what to think. I had never seen anything like it before and I was thinking about how it was, maybe, something new to the area.
I tried to get a picture with my wife's cell phone but it didn't turn out very good. Still, it was good enough to look it up later on and find out what it was. It was a pale bordered field cockroach.
Now... at this point, if you look these up, they are NOT listed as being native to Arkansas. So... I'm still quite intrigued by them...
Some time later(weeks maybe, I can never remember time spans for some reason), I went back with my 7 year old son to see if I could get a better picture. I had my camera with me this time. We were unable to find a safe place to cross the creek and I REALLY didn't want to get wet. So, we hiked down further. Since I found the first ones(there were quite a few) under rocks in a damp shady area, I figured I had to look for the same habitat. I was right. In all the more clear and sunny areas, there was no sign of anything like that. When we finally got to a rocky area in some deep shade my son quickly found one and the chase was on. It is NOT easy to get a picture of something that doesn't want to be seen at all.
I finally got a picture in July and I am not finally getting it online.
The other month I was chatting with some people on a facebook page for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to see if they knew anything about it. I was informed that, sadly, their entomologist left some time ago to go to another state. :/
However... the entomologist saw the conversation and replied. What they said was that it was not known if the cockroach was native to Arkansas or simply introduced.
So... still a bit of a mystery.
I would bet money, however, that it is introduced. It is native to states south of here as well as Mexico. This part of Arkansas has a large and growing Mexican population. It would not be difficult for such critters to find there way here. Also, over the years I've spent a lot of time at that creek. Even just a year or two ago, I NEVER saw such a thing down there. I can't say how much I was searching those areas back then but, years ago I sure searched EVERYTHING down there. In 98/99, while I should have been in classes, I spent a LOT of time at that creek hunting for snakes, frogs, and whatever else I could find. I turned over all sorts of rocks in all sorts of areas. Personally, I'm convinced that they are introduced but I wouldn't bet my life on it as I sure don't know all about such things.
Anyway... I know you're all excited to see a picture of a cockroach so... Here it is.
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Insects and spiders... whether you love them or they make you shudder.
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