Desert Cockroach

Last night, I went outside for a moment to look for bats, and as I was coming back inside the house, something flew into my hair. After a few panicky moments of slapping at and ruffling my hair, this male Desert Cockroach (Arenivaga genitalis) flew out and landed on the dining room table.

Male Desert Cockroach (Arenivaga genitalis)

Despite my interest in insects, I still suffer paroxysms of "ick" if one happens to get on me. I especially don't like cockroaches, although Desert Cockroaches like this one are completely harmless and never infest houses. Instead, Desert Cockroaches burrow about in soil rich in organic debris, such as that in packrat nests. Only the males can fly, and these nocturnal insects can often be seen near lights at night.

My glass-topped dining room table is set on a wooden base painted to look like faux granite. It looks quite nice from a distance, but up close in this picture I think that it looks disgustingly like wet, slimy, mouldering food, especially with a cockroach perched on top!

After I took a couple of photos of the Desert Cockroach, I placed an inverted glass over it, and then slid a stiff piece of paper under it to safely capture it, and I then put it back outside, where it thankfully stayed. If it had been any other kind of cockroach, I would have squished it immediately.