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Taxonomy Fail: When is a roach not a roach?

12 Aug
Darkling beetle incorrectly identified as polyphaga cockroach.

A polyphaga cockroach, labeled with a photo of a darkling beetle.

I found these ‘Real Bugs’ lucite-encased specimens for sale a local grocery store.  They’re pretty nice display items, and I’m actually kind of in love with the included collector’s cards which include trivia along the lines of “millipedes can have thousands of legs.”  Above you can see the polyphaga cockroach, whose trading card inexplicably showcases a photo of a darkling beetle.  Quick, someone calculate the taxonomy fail index.

I also love that they’ve not only hyped up the cards with “speed,” “size,” and “gross factor” ratings, but also “DEADLINESS.”  This is kind of vaguely plausible for the centipede and “giant bee,” but what about the long-horned beetle? (Deadliness: THREE.)  Frankly, I can’t wait to get my hands on the whole set.

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