onsdag 29. desember 2021


German Cockroach (Blattella germanica) 

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/5,6, 1/125, ISO 9000

"Of various reasons" I spent some time at Gran Canaria, Spain, in Nov / Dec 2021. A lazy life with great climate ... but also boring. I needed a project, but beeing in the dezert-zone of central Sahara there is little wildlife at Gran Canaria ! However I did see some cockroaches from time to time, and as I started to upgrade my knowledge on them my fascination for these dreaded insects took off !! Cockroaches are social animals that thrive in the filthiest of all filthy corners, especially in sewage systems with optimal temperature and humidity conditions ... and they often move from "unclean zones" into "clean zones". They carry bacteria and microbes on the body that unfortunately can cause diseases among humans, and their mere droppings can cause both allergies & asthma. They can eat intoxicated food and they can regrow lost limbs. They have excellent eyesight with more than 2000 lenses and almost 360 degrees vision ... and see / operate easily in total darkness. Their long antennas are advanced scent organs. Females can reproduce without the presence of males (will then only give birth to females) and one single female can produce 2 mill eggs per year. The female carry her clutch of eggs on the body and even if you stomp on her, the eggs can still develop into new generations of roaches ! 

"My roaches" were of the species German Cockroach (Blattella germanica), but there are approx 4000 different species of cockroaches worldwide and the order has been almost unchanged for 300 mill years! That's a successful species !!  

As a photo project this was one of the more difficult ones. Cockroaches are strictly nocturnal, they are VERY shy and they are super fast ... as the beetle can do 5 km/h on top speed and change direction several times within a sec. Some of my pics show roaches in situ, but most of them have had a short stay in the fridge to slow down. Some (1 pic) were found in the street half dead by pesticides. All pictures are shot at night with the light from a headlamp (an older one with a bit warmer light than the modern ones) and an additional small flashlight.  Thanks to my wife for helping with the lights.

When mankind has exterminated "everything" on the planet including themselves .... there will still be cockroaches around.,

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/11,0 , 1/160, ISO 1600

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/13,0 , 1/125, ISO 8000

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/11,0 , 1/160, ISO 3200

Cockroaches have strong jaws, they will not bite if picked up, but they can chew "everything". They can even eat non organic food.

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/11,0 , 1/160, ISO 5600

If you get up at night to go to the toilet and turn on the light ... you can often see big beetles speeding away on the floor ... or even kitchen bench ... to find cover. 

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/5,6 , 1/125, ISO 1100

A group of 3 roaches and a common housefly ... not really sure what happened here

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/8,0 , 1/160, ISO 5600

Cockroaches are athletic insects with long spiny legs. 

Sigma 180 mm /2,8, f/10,0 , 1/160, ISO 4500

A poor roach half dead by pesticides crawling around in the street 

Nikon 105 mm /2,8, f/22,0 , 1/80, ISO 1400

Sigma 105 mm /2,8, f/22,0 , 1/160, ISO 1600

Bait for roaches : A "must" for any ambitious cockroach photographer !!  (iPhone)

My favourite "cockroach hunting grounds" in the old city of Puerto de Mogan (iPhone)

 First killed by potent pesticides .. and then food for other species ....  (iPhone)