Cockroaches vs furry slippers

By May 12th, 2014

Did you forget Mothers' Day? Don't fret - here's a present that will make your mum glad you were a bit slow. Or at least make a change from chocolates and fluffy slippers. It's A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia.

There are more than 4000 species of cockroaches in the world, and Australia is home to over 500 of them, including some of the largest and the smallest. Surprisingly, out of the 4000, only five are generally considered pests. Most cockroaches don’t want to hang around your cupboards like a scuttling reminder to buy some surface spray.

Author – and IgNobel prize winner – David Rentz has set out to rehabilitate the cockroach’s reputation. Not only do the many get a bad name because of the few pest species, but quite a lot of cockroaches are actually very attractive. Take Ellipsidion sp (pictured), with its creamy undercoat, and big black spot. They’re not the sort of creature you commonly associate with the name ‘cockroach’.

A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia provides detailed descriptions of the native species’ morphology, habitats and ecology.

Media resources

Click image for high resolution version.

Audio: David Rentz on cockroaches – ABC North Queensland