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August 21, 2009 9:27 AM   Subscribe

It's a terrible picture, but is this a cockroach? ☐ Yes. ☐ No.

It is - err, was - about 7/16 of an inch long, had a ribbed thorax (abdomen?), and had a grey-ish underbelly. Looking at cockroach pictures here, the ribbed thorax looks like a cockroach feature.
posted by aiko to Science & Nature (23 answers total)
Could be a Surinam cockroach.
posted by mattbucher at 9:31 AM on August 21, 2009

Looks like it has waaay too many legs to be a cockroach.

why did I look at that right before lunch.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:31 AM on August 21, 2009

Best answer: no
looks like a pillbug
does it roll into a ball when you bug it?
posted by zia at 9:32 AM on August 21, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: No. It looks more like a woodlouse to me. Too many legs, and the antenna shape is also distinctive.
posted by crapmatic at 9:32 AM on August 21, 2009

Another vote for no, on account of the legs.
posted by booknerd at 9:36 AM on August 21, 2009

seconding woodlouse.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:37 AM on August 21, 2009

Thirding woodlouse/pillbug/roly-poly. Cute little critters, actually.
posted by katillathehun at 9:41 AM on August 21, 2009

Best answer: No. I grew up in a country where cockroaches were EVERYWHERE. The shape is wrong. More likely a woodlouse.
posted by Ziggy500 at 9:41 AM on August 21, 2009

Best answer: ☐ Yes. ✓ No.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:42 AM on August 21, 2009 [3 favorites]

This is a cockroach (if you'd like to see a BIG picture of a cockroach.)

That looks like a pillbug, or potato bug we used to call them when we were kids.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:44 AM on August 21, 2009

I forgot what its called but it eats other bugs and likes damp places.
posted by majortom1981 at 9:50 AM on August 21, 2009

Response by poster: Its feelers and legs were very wispish, but other than that it definitely resembled the pillbug/woodlouse/rolly polly pictured here.

For what it's worth, it did not roll into a ball at any point. Maybe it would have if I had poked it though.

Also, this is the second one I've found in as many days; both were in the bathroom, so the damp places preference does seem to apply.

Thank you for your replies!
posted by aiko at 10:30 AM on August 21, 2009

In DC we call those silverfish. They love bathtubs/drains.

The pictures on the wiki do not look like the silverfish I've seen though, so maybe we're calling them by the wrong name.
posted by juliplease at 10:36 AM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

We call them silverfish here in Baltimore too, but I think they're actually house centipedes.
posted by electroboy at 10:44 AM on August 21, 2009

Not all woodlice can roll up into a ball. There are a bunch of different woodlouse species, and a really confusing mess of popular names for them.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:49 AM on August 21, 2009

Silverfish are a different thing, actually. Smaller, silverier, and a lot faster. The only sort of good thing about silverfish is that if you can manage to touch it in any way, it practically squishes itself. They appear to have no structural integrity at all.
posted by rusty at 11:27 AM on August 21, 2009

Silverfish are different from pill bugs and house centipedes.
posted by Who_Am_I at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2009

We called that kind (the ones that don't roll up) sowbugs.
posted by The otter lady at 11:35 AM on August 21, 2009

You can see more examples and pics in the Sow Bugs, Pill Bugs, Isopods, Lawn Shrimp and Amphipods section of the always-excellent What's That Bug? website.
posted by clerestory at 12:07 PM on August 21, 2009

it's definately in the cockroach family, i'd say it's an american cockroach, if it's legs scratched you a bit (if you touched it) then it most likely is, i wouldn't say it's a woodlouse mind, as woodlouses have a different body shape and structure.
posted by sockpim at 3:31 PM on August 21, 2009

Best answer: Fun science fact: the number of legs is key here. Insects have six legs. Woodlice are actually crustaceans.

(Also, for reference, cockroaches are bigger, over an inch long. And uglier.)
posted by zompist at 3:32 PM on August 21, 2009

It's not a cockroach or a silverfish or a house centipede, it's just a woodlouse
posted by KokuRyu at 3:45 PM on August 21, 2009

That's a sowbug.
posted by metagnathous at 4:20 PM on August 21, 2009

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