INDOOR INSECTS OUTDOORS

In recent years I have come across several insects usually regarded as commensal species associated with heated habitations, remote from any buildings in ‘wild’ situations.

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Silverfish-  Lepisma saccharina occur commonly in log piles and inside hollow trees in Bushy Park (2006) and Home Park, Hampton Court (2013) but the capture made on the 10.iv.2006 was bizarre to say the least: Whilst excavating an old quarry at Cuxton, Kent, amongst a  pile of old scrap cars and debris I found a single large adult Silverfish inside an old milk bottle. No others were seen despite a steady search. The locality must have been amongst the coldest places in Southern England being at the foot of a north facing vertical cliff over 50m tall!!

   In the same pit in open chalky ground a pitfall set to capture amphibians trapped a single adult female Oriental cockroach Blatta orientalis. I can only assume it escaped from one of the earth moving machines or excavators busy on site at the time?

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On Canvey Island on Roscommon, I found an adult female House Cricket Acheta domestica in an amphibian pitfall over 200m from any buildings.

  All these captures bring forth thoughts of global warming but a look through the literature showed that Acheta domestica had been found outdoors on many occasions. My friend Don Tagg tells me that in the blackout in WW2 they were frequently seen on Hampton High Street!

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