Brownbanded Cockroach (supella Longipalpa): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: This small cockroach measures only 0.39 to 0.57 inches (9.9 to 14.5 millimeters) in length. In males the forewings completely cover the body, while those of the female seldom reach the tip of the abdomen. The forewings are reddish brown, with pale areas at the base and in the middle. The body color varies: the dark midsection often has a pale area in the center.
Geographic range: The brownbanded cockroach is probably native to Africa. It has now become widespread around the warmer, wetter regions of the world. It is usually found in association with homes and businesses.
Habitat: The brownbanded cockroach is found throughout homes: behind pictures, under picture frames, on and under furniture, in cupboards and closets, on bookshelves, inside televisions, and in showers.
Diet: Brownbanded cockroaches feed on all kinds of foods in kitchens. They often eat the glues of book bindings, wallpaper paste, and the adhesives on the backs of stamps and gummed labels.
Behavior and reproduction: This species tends to fly when it is disturbed. The female releases a pheromone that attracts the male from a distance.
At a temperature of about 86°F (30°C), larvae molt six to eight times before reaching adulthood. Both males and females take about fifty-five days to become adults. Males live for about 115 days, while females live about ninety days. The female produces her first egg capsule about ten days after reaching maturity and produces, on average, eleven capsules in six-day intervals during her lifetime. Each capsule contains about sixteen eggs, which take about forty days to hatch. The egg capsules are found throughout the home on walls and ceilings and on or near kitchen sinks, desks, tables, and bedding.
Brownbanded cockroaches and people: These cockroaches are household pests that can spread throughout homes.
Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Gordon, David George. The Compleat Cockroach: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Despised (and Least Understood) Creature on Earth. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1996.
Taylor, R. L. Butterflies in My Stomach; or, Insects in Human Nutrition. Santa Barbara, CA: Woodridge Press, 1975.
Boraiko, A. A. "The Indomitable Cockroach." National Geographic 159, no. 1 (January 1981): 130–142.
Park, A. "Guess Who's Coming to Tea? Cockroaches!" Australian Geographic 18 (April–June 1990): 30–45.
"The Blattodea or Cockroaches." The Earthlife Web. http://www.earthlife.net/insects/blatodea.html (accessed on September 8, 2004).
"Blattodea: Cockroaches." Ecowatch. http://www.ento.csiro.au/Ecowatch/Insects_Invertebrates/blattodea.htm (accessed on September 8, 2004).
"Critter Catalog: Cockroaches." BioKids. http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/information/Blattaria.html (accessed on September 8, 2004).
"Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches." University of Kentucky Entomology. http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/misc/ef014.htm (accessed on September 2004).
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