I've found a couple of these insects, dead, in my house recently. The photo is from the underside, but shows the very long rear legs, that look like they were made for jumping, and the distintive double, stripy 'tails'. I wasn't able to get a good photo from the top, for various reasons (it disintegrated and kids were kicking off) but it has a largely black, somewhat textured carapace, aside from the translucent bits you can see up around the 'neck' above. Overall it's probably only about 5mm long.

All my web searching has not turned anything up, but I just know there's someone out there who knows exactly what it is. Please enlighten me! Of course I'm a shade worried it might be a pest that I should be concerned about controlling.

Update: Africa Gomez of BugBlog suggests that it's probably a cockroach. A lot of web searching later and the best I can come up with is the lesser cockroach, apparently one of only three species that are actually native to the UK (though there are plenty of foreign imports). Opinion seems to be divided as to whether it's a pest, and in fact deep information about it seems hard to come by. This is a good article in general on UK cockroaches. I'm still not 100% sure of the ID as many of the pictures aren't quite on the money, though that could be differences in male vs female or different levels of maturity I suppose. 

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  1. This lady, Afica Gomez will know: http://abugblog.blogspot.co.uk/ – she’s a bug scientist here in the UK – you could try here. Her blog is really good and interesting and informative about all kinds of bugs.

  2. Oh, yes, if anyone knows it will be Africa, she is excellent.

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