Entomology (Study of Bugs)/unknown insect


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Hello,  recently I have been finding the insects in the attached picture.  I have found them in a detached Garage and in the garden here in Massachusetts.  They are about half an inch or less and brown/reddish in color.  My wife is worried they may be cockroaches.  Any help in identification would be much appreciated.  Thank you very much,

Dear Doug - This is indeed a cockroach; it appears to be Ectobius pallidus, known as the spotted Mediterranean cockroach (their wings have many tiny, dark spots that can be seen only with the aid of a hand lens); it first was reported from Massachusetts in 1948. This species appears to be more of an outdoor species than an indoor pest(http://tinyurl.com/metqqwt), but reportedly can become a nuisance when attracted to dwellings by lights. You might try contacting your nearest office of Amherst University's Cooperative Extension Service for further advice - see http://tinyurl.com/okphkeq for locations and contact information.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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