Two for a closer look

Today, I will share two things I brought home for a closer look.

First is this critter! As you probably know by now, I often turn over rocks, sticks, and cow patties. Under any of the aforementioned, little critters scurry quickly out of sight. Among the critters often seen, are pill bugs, millipedes, spiders and these. So under a cow patty, I caught this critter to find more about it.

Its segments look similar to a pill bug, but no it is not a pill bug. It turned about to be a nymph of a cockroach.

I believe it is either a American Cockroach nymph (Periplaneta americana) or Smoky Brown Cockroach nymph (Periplaneta fuliginosa). So consequently I will go with a cockroach nymph (Periplaneta).

A close view of the head reveals an interesting eye shape. I should check sometime to see if an adult keeps that same shape…some day LOL.

Second treasure for examination are these beautiful brown Post Oak galls. I chose a couple without exit holes. Then I stuck those in my pocket.

Isn’t this just crazy looking! The larva inner chamber was held in the center. There is probably a special name for this, but I don’t know it. Time lapse photos would be interesting of the gall forming process. However, that is more than I will ever do.

In the center of most galls that I have opened is a hard little mass where the larva is encased. In the above photo, it was the mass at the center. Then I put it between my tweezers to hold for cutting it open. It measured about 1.5 millimeters across.

Here it is cut open.

The first gall was empty!.

The second gall had the remains of something. Also this gall was a tad bigger in overall diameter.

Looking closely at the center stuff, I found what looked like exuvia (cast-off outer skin) of a larva.

A few hairs-like structure were visible. Truly is amazing how insects or bacteria get a plant to make a nursery for their young in the form of a gall. Moreover, they don’t have to supervise the contractor, i.e. the plant… LOL. In fact, each gall is made to the perfect specification for the occupant!

Lastly, I just want to say, it was cold today! Then again, guess it could have been worse.

The Bug That Saved California

See the Bizarre Fruiting Bodies of Slime Molds

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Love the slime mole fruiting bodies. Not so much the cockroach. Im just not fond of cockroaches. I will step on any one i see. Gall is interesting. Loved seeing the inside.

    1. Judy, I don’t care for cockroaches in my adobe, outside yes. However you got me thinking about them so I did a search. I found they can run in herds up to 20 or 30 individuals. I will put a couple links in tonight’s post (Jan 8th) that tell about fascinating things about cockroaches. At least it was to me LOL. So as usual, cockroaches are all part of nature and I like’em. I can’t help it.

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