Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach: Nuisance or Importance?

Manhattan Beach, California is home to a very unique species of cockroach that's only found in that one area. The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach only lives along the coastal area, either on the beach or in nearby houses. The insect only eats hazardous materials such as lead paint, the manganese dioxide found in zinc-carbon batteries, acids, ethanol (alcohol), and several items with the element cadmium within. Though they could be found in almost every area in the world, the beach that the cockroach lives on is it's natural habitat and can give these items to them everyday by humans. For example, a person throws away a zinc-carbon battery in the trash or someone accidentally spills alcohol into the sand can be easily consumed without wasting energy for hunting. In other words, the Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach is extremely lazy and are scavengers. The coloration of this cockroach is also unique in which its easily recognized by its strange, colorful spots all over its body.

Being scavengers, they also consume dead animals which wash up on shore like normal cockroaches eating decaying carcasses. If a predator (like for example a seagull) eats one of these insects, it will slowly die due to the hazardous materials found in its body. Being extremely endangered, humans who try to exterminate these insects will have to pay heavy fines due to their rarity. The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach isn't immune to what normal pests die from (example: insect repellent). Once dead, the insect will repel a toxic gas from its decaying body which dangers human and animal health.

The Manhattan Beach Mottled Cockroach (featured in the illustration above) looks like a normal cockroach but, have colorful spots all over its body. Its illegal to keep one as a pet and if caught with one, the person would have to pay small fines and have to prove that the insect wasn't hurt in captivity.

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