Sunday, May 22, 2011

One big palmetto bug (American cockroach), two baby alligators and one old turtle

I found this monster big palmetto bug* (American cockroach) in the bath after an intense storm.  I think it must of crawled up through the plughole and was already dying.  A similar thing happened several months ago in the middle of Winter.  I cannot believe how big the insect life gets in Florida!  Still, I would rather have a big palmetto bug to deal with rather than a snake or a giant spider!  I keep seeing snakes when I go running, but I never have my camera with me, so have not got any photos yet.

My love affair with water dwelling reptiles continues.  I managed to snap (no pun intended!) two baby alligators last weekend when we visited Lake Alice, Gainesville, Florida.

When they are born, the baby alligators are stripy and it takes some time before they lose their markings.  The one below is old enough to be independent but you can still see its markings.  It is the tannin in the water from the trees that stains the alligators dark grey as they get older.

At one point, a large old turtle crawled out of the water and sat not far from the baby alligator.  It was a bizarre sight as turtles are one of the main foods that alligators eat (the reason that an alligator’s bite is so powerful, far stronger than a crocodile’s, is so that he can crack open turtle shells).  For a moment it looked like a blood bath might take place, but I guess the old turtle in this case considered himself to be too big to be bothered by a baby alligator.  I am glad he was right!

*I have since discovered that this bug isn't actually a palmetto (although many people mistakenly call them that here in Florida)!  It is just a very big American cockroach!


  1. Roaches-yuck! Been lucky here!
    Yep Paul-moving to Firefox was a good move-and it seems aot faster for some reason.

  2. Ehhh, that isn't even a big cockroach! Haha, so gross. And never knew you called them Palmetto Bugs. Very interesting. The gators on the other hand, cute, but scary!

  3. Ishk.
    We get bush roaches, some the size of small mice.
    I'm not a fan.
    Those alligators are so beautiful yet so scary at the same time. You are brave!

  4. I shall never complain about the spiders behind my cistern again!!

  5. @LindyL - Yes, they are cute, but I still keep my distance, just in case! :-)

    @Robyn - Yes, though, I am undecided about the latest firefox version!

    @Texa - Yes, well everythings bigger in Texas, isn't it? hehe!

    @Romina - I am not that brave, 99% of the time the alligators will jump in the water and swim off if you get too close. They look similar to crocodiles but they are much less aggressive.

    @David A - Don't mention the spiders! ;-)

  6. My cat takes care of roaches as they tend to stay on the floor, but the spiders are much too dexterous to be outwitted by a cat. They can't however escape the wrath of the underside of a shoe.

    For the record...Google Chrome all the way :)

  7. I would die on the spot if I'd encounter those beasts.

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  8. Queensland roaches are much bigger...when we relocated back from there to Melbourne years ago I discovered a dead one in the leg of a wicker chair, it was easily as big as that I could never get it out I just left the dead body took years to disintegrate! Rob

  9. Oh geez, that sounds yucky! I don't know if I wanted to know that, that image of the giant dead bug inside the chair is going to stay with me all day! lol

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