The American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana), a.k.a. American Waterbug, and, incorrectly, as the Palmetto bug. The “American” is also a misnomer; they originated in Africa and been here since the 17th century. They are FREAKIN’ HUGE. (Sorry, my entomological sympathies are strained by the Blattodea.) 4cm or 1.5″ long. Distinguished from the smaller house invader commonly known as “roaches,” Blattella germanica, by size and head pattern and habits and numbers. One waterbug making noise behind my lintel postcards not so bad, a bunch of roaches scurrying when the light goes on, now, that’s ugly, and luckily not something I have to deal with. In looking the roaches up, I see there’s a Death’s Head Roach (Blaberus craniifer) in Key West and the Caribbean. Lucky them. The Waterbug moniker comes from the fact that they frequently enter apartments through the drains. Years ago in another apartment on a very, very hot and humid night, I saw these things flying, slowly, ponderously ~ atavistically horrifying.
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