Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Nice Little Local Cockroach

Balta denticulata Hebard

Cockroaches may not strike everyone's fancy but they are important members of the ecosystem. In fact, they may be more important than most people think because of their diversity and considerable numbers. This little cockroach is a member of the large genus Balta which has many species in Australia and New Guinea. They are active after dark feeding on the particulate matter than rains down from the trees above. During the day they can be found in leaf litter or under loose bark. This genus is frequently attracted to lights. But don't worry, even if it comes into your house, it won't last long. It needs the humidity and foods of its own habitat.

B. denticulata is appropriately named.
This is the subgenital plate of the male of the species. The subgenital plate is a flap that covers the ventral part of the tip of the abdomen. It is very diagnostic in cockroaches. The specific name of this species is based on the spines you see at the apex of the plate. All males have spines that are very similar to these.

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