It was late when I let the dogs out for the last trip of the night. I turned the light next to the door on and was very excited to see a beautiful green colored insect. Could it be that I finally would see an emerald moth. I'd found the caterpillar on Bidens alba a.k.a. Spanish Needles, its larval host some time ago, but never got to see a resulting adult.
I grabbed a camera and took several shots from my rather disadvantaged perch. I reached overhead and clicked and clicked and clicked some more. I ran into the computer to check on the quality of my shots. BOO! Horrible, barely discernable.
Back with the camera I went and luckily, the insect was still positioned on the siding. I put the flash on, clicked a few shots and ran inside to again check the quality. Eureka! Not the best shots, but clear enough to identify.
Hmm, doesn't look like any moth I've ever seen and the antenna are all wrong. Off to the yahoo search engine. "green cricket Florida". I scanned a few results and none of the pictures came close. I checked whatsthatbug.com but couldn't find my specimen. Off to bugguide.net. "bright green Florida". Up pop the photographs of bright green insects. THERE IT IS!
I click on the matching photo and oh HORRORS! It is a Green Banana Cockroach (Panchlora nivea). I immediately shudder and a creepy, itchy feeling came over me. I think, "Ok, it's just a bug, let's find out what it's doing here." In the information tab I read:
"Also known as the Cuban cockroach, this is an invasive species that first got to the US on shipments of fruit from the Caribbean. Like most cockroaches, it is nocturnal. It is a strong flyer and is drawn to bright lights at night. This species does not breed in houses and prefers to remain outdoors if possible."
Whew, although invasive, it isn't going to try to live in my house. I did a little more research and learned that some people keep these at pets because of their beautiful green color, which brings me to my next question on this fella. Is he called a Green Banana Roach because he likes green bananas? Or because he looks like Kermit?
I shut off the outside light and was thrilled it was gone by morning. Go back to Cuba and your green bananas.