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Australian Native cockroach

Polyzosteria mitchelli


Polyzosteria mitchelli is a wingless, dorsally-flattened insect. It is one of the most strikingly coloured Australian cockroaches.


This cockroach was found in a natural non-forest environment, with a predominance of small shrubs and being part of the Kwongan ecosystem, a global hotspots for wildlife and plants. The area stands out as a remarkably sandy valley. The region is subject to rainy winters and dry summers with maximum and minimum annual average temperatures of 24° C and 13° C, respectively.


Insect: P. mitchelli sprays a pungent defensive fluid from glands in its abdomen when disturbed. Area: Due to its ancient geology, the soils in the region are almost all poor in nutrients, but this is likely the secret to the south west’s astonishing diversity. Like most of Australia, the region has been inhabited by humans for well over 40,000 years, so that a rich cultural heritage adds to the biological and geological value of the region. The Badgingarra National Park is 13,108 hectares (32,390 acres) in area and stands out in relief with undulating lateritic hills and sandy valleys. The park is renowned for its incredible diversity of endemic wildflowers. Now, the biggest threat to the plants is the spread of dieback, a soil borne fungus. The Australian Government recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of Badgingarra National Park.

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Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck a year ago

Beauty! Congrats.

Beautiful find Andre,congrats on the SOTD and thanks for sharing

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander a year ago

Congrats Andre!! That's awesome!

DanielePralong a year ago

Congratulations Andre, your Australian Native cockroach is now our Spotting of the Day:

"We're doing something for cockroaches today with this beautiful Australian Native cockroach (Polyzosteria mitchelli) as our Spotting of the Day. Cockroaches generally suffer a bad press because of a few species which can infest our homes. But cockroaches (close to 5'000 known species) have a significant ecological importance. They are a source of food for numerous organisms, including other arthropods, birds, reptiles and mammals, and play an important role in degrading plant material.
Check out the spotting to learn more about this Australian species and its habitat, the Kwongan ecosystem in south-western Western Australia".



DanielePralong a year ago

That is now perfect Andre! Thanks for your efforts.

AJ Arruda
AJ Arruda a year ago

Thank you again @DanielePralong. As suggested some updates have been made in the description of the habitat and notes. Best regards, Andre

DanielePralong a year ago

Thanks for your efforts Andre! This is actually much more simple than that: just describe what you saw at the place of spotting. I'm trying to guess from what I see in your images: relatively dry scrubland, some vegetation (bushes, trees, grass?), any other species in sight, prey or predator? This information pertains to your spotting only and your spotting only. Any generic information can be referenced using the Reference fields, or further detailed in Notes if relevant or interesting to you. I hope this helps further :-)

AJ Arruda
AJ Arruda a year ago

Hi @DanielePralong, thank you for the guidence. Habitat information is already updated for this spotting.
I'm really happy that you enjoyed my recent spottings from Australia. More will be posted very soon.
Best regards,

DanielePralong a year ago

Hi Andre! Thanks for replying to Chun. The new information you've provided is a location, not habitat. The location information is already avaible on your spotting map. Habitat is something different. This should help, and also provides some examples of habitat:

The following is taken from our FAQ page, and explains why actual habitat, rather than range or generic information, is important to us:
"Habitat: Please state the actual habitat where you photographed the spotting - this information can then be used to track changes in habitat, such as those caused by human intervention or habitat destruction. Again, it is not necessary to state published habitat information here, this can be referenced in the 'reference links' box".

I hope this helps to undertand what we are after. We are really enjoying your recent spottings from Australia. Adding this information will make them even more special.

AJ Arruda
AJ Arruda a year ago

Hi @AshleyT,

Amazing news!

Thank you,

AJ Arruda

AJ Arruda
AJ Arruda a year ago

Hi @ChunXingWong,

This one was spotted at Badgingarra National Park, Western Australia.



ChunXingWong a year ago

Hi AJ,
Amazing cockroach! would you be able to describe the area where you found this spotting?

AshleyT a year ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

AJ Arruda
Spotted by
AJ Arruda

Western Australia, Australia

Lat: -30.43, Long: 115.43

Spotted on Dec 20, 2017
Submitted on Dec 20, 2017

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