Why are there cockroaches in the trees?

Last week I went black-lighting with a few lab-partners-in-crime. I didn’t get many Acronicta (seems to be a theme this summer) but we had fun exploring the woods at night.

One thing we pondered… what’s with all the cockroaches in the trees? Here is a youngster.

This adult was calmly grooming her legs and antennae.

There seemed to be a cockroach on every stump (a lot of beaver damage in the forest) and one or two per tree trunk. I think they are beautiful little animals (as long as they are not in my kitchen), so it was quite fun! Just… unexpected.

Here are some other things we saw…

A cool caterpillar nibbling on lichen.

A geometrid caterpillar trying really hard to be a twig.

There were many beautiful leopard slugs in the trees as well. I would love to catch some mating one day! That scene from Life in the Undergrowth is one of my favorites of all time. Check it out HERE. Your life will never be the same.

Many of the june beetles were mating. I think they look sort of like little turtles.

Overall, we had a fun night! Though, while drinking from lab vials, I realized I am allergic to gin. Afterwards I learned that it runs in my family. Oops! My throat got really sore and started to close up, but I recovered.


Posted on June 14, 2012, in Black lighting, Coleoptera, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I don’t find them in tree trunks very often but seen one eating lichen once. Usually I just see them over the foliage.

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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