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It took a while for the fireworks to get underway, and I decided to have a look at the strand vegetation, just above the the highest of the high tide mark.
To my delight I discovered a treasure trove of local cockroaches.
This is a widespread native coastal plant.
The strand flora at Clifton Beach comprises a mixture of native and local plants. There is a small reserve where a creek empties into the ocean that may harbour reptiles of the more bitey kind.
A dominant plant beyond the Scaevola is Singapore Daisy, Sphagneticola trilobata, a central American native that, although very attractive, has gotten away with itself. It occurs in marginal habitats in northern Queensland and outcompetes native plants, literally overtaking them. It can occupy long stretches of rainforest edges. It propagates from nodes and is difficult to control.
The prolific flowers are loaded with pollen and that attracts insects.
Above are two undescribed species of Johnrehnia searching for food, the top on a Singapore Daisy leaf, the other on Mangrove Lily, Crinum pedunculatum. This plant is a native but is cultivated and the ones at Clifton Beach have been planted. They provide a very acceptable habitats to a variety of insects.
Above Johnrehnia sp feeds on Singapore Daisy pollen. Note the nymphs (small cockroaches) which may be young of its species or some other cockroach.
orthopteroid insects similarly attracted to the strand flora are this Raspy Cricket, Hyalogryllacris sp. This is a last instar and is probably preparing to moult into an adult under the cover of darkness.
These small stinkbugs, Pentatomidae, are using the Scaevola leaves for a get together.
It should be stressed that all of the above cockroaches, with the possible exception of the Pycnoscelus, are native species and would not find your pantry suitable for survival. On the other hand, they live mostly in leaf litter, in large numbers, and they are probably very important in the breakdown of this material and its return to soil. Because their numbers are so high, they are most likely important food sources for vertebrates such as birds, lizards and frogs as well as other insects. So they should be encouraged. They are probably important pollinators of native plants as well.
The take home message here is that these insects are important members of our biota. Prescribed burning of their habitat will result in their loss for many years and eliminate the roles that they fulfil.