Australian Cockroach

This juvenile male Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) is probably one molt shy of being a handsome adult like this one. He’s quite peeved that I’ve caught him in a clear plastic drink cup, so I could get him out of my kitchen and back into the world, where he is one of the many vitally important creatures eating (and recycling) decaying plant and animal matter.

I’m not sure how the “Australian roach” got its name, because it is apparently “circumtropical”, and likely of African origin. It is a nocturnal species found most commonly in tropical and subtropical climates. It generally prefers to be outdoors, but can be found in human habitation if the circumstances (temperature, food availability) are right. Despite what you might expect, this (and not, say, the American cockroach) is the most common roach species found outdoors in southern Florida.

I considered the below portraits adequate “payment” for a free trip outside and away from the house:

This individual was identified by the kind people at iNaturalist. Here’s how I know he’s a boy.

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