- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
It's Friday Fly Day!
Time to post an image of a fly.
Or two flies. On a cockroach.
The scenario: a large cockroach drowned in a small water trough located near downtown Vacaville, Calif., and when the water drained, the roach slid out. It proved to be a feast for green bottle flies.
The roach? UC Distinguished Professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis, says it appears to be a Turkestan cockroach, a newer cockroach species in California.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) says this about the Turkestan cockroach:
"The Turkestan cockroach is an invasive species that is now very common in California's residential outdoor areas. With access to good habitat and food sources, they can quickly develop very high populations. Common habitats around homes are wood and debris piles, irrigation and water meter boxes, crevices in pavement or rock walls, and outdoor drainage pipes. They are also common in public storm drains and sanitary sewers. These habitats provide the dark, moist hiding places that cockroaches prefer. They come out at night to feed. While some may occasionally wander into homes, especially where outdoor populations are high, they will not establish indoor populations."
According to Wikipedia, it's a Shelfordella lateralis, often referred to as Blatta lateralis, It's also also known as the "rusty red cockroach" or "red runner cockroach." Native to an area from northern Africa to Central Asia, it can measure 1.2 inches in length. Says Wikipedia: "The Turkestan cockroach was first noticed in the U.S in 1978, around the former Sharpe Army Depot in California, followed shortly after by appearances at Fort Bliss in Texas and several other military bases. Researchers believe the species arrived on military equipment returning from central Asia, perhaps Afghanistan."
The Turkestan cockroach is also favored as pet food for reptiles.
If the green bottle flies don't get to it first!