|Year of Publication||Authors||Title|
|2006||Anisyutkin L||Notes on the genus Calolamprodes Bey-Bienko, with descriptions of four new species (Dictyoptera: Blaberidae: Epilamprinae)|
|2006||Gutierrez E||Epilampra haitensis Rehn & Hebard, 1927 (Dictyoptera: Blattodea: Blaberidae): first record from the Dominican Republic (West Indies), with some observations in nature|
|2006||Durkin A||The Blattodea Culture Group: A History|
|2007||Beccaloni G||The Blattodea Species File Online (BSF) databse: A new Web resource for everyone interested in cockroaches|
|2007||Gutierrez E||Colapteroblatta darlingtoni: It's still alive!|
|2007||Lammel J, Neupert S, Predel R||Differentiation of Cockroach Taxa by Peptide Hormone Mass Fingerprints: Periplaneta Burmesiter (Blattidae) and Lucihormetica Zompro & Fritzsche (Blaberidae)|
|2007||Anisyutkin L||New species of the genus Macrophyllodromia Saussure & Zehntner, 1893 (Dictyoptera: Blattina: Blattellidae) from Ecuador|
|2007||Abercrombie I||Notes on rearing Archiblatta hoeveni Snellen van Vollenhoven, 1862|
Pseudophorapsis nebulosa (Burmeister, 1838) is a very variable species, both in size and coloration. It is quite commonly found in the rainforests of Borneo. I have found it in Brunei, Kalimantan, Sarawak and Sabah. I have found it to be relatively rare in Sabah, however most of my collecting in Sabah has been at higher altitude than my collecting elsewhere and it is possible that it is restricted to lowland areas. This photograph was taken in lowland Sabah. Unfortunately the specimen escaped so I have not been able to confirm the identification. Photo copyright Phil Bragg.
Unidentified cockroach found on the Squash court wall at Kinabalu National Park, Sabah. Photo by Phil Bragg.
By George Beccaloni (Curator of cockroaches etc, The Natural History Museum, London)
|Evolutionary Relationships of Cockroaches from Eggleton, Beccaloni & Inward, 2007 |
To date approximately 4,500 cockroach species have been named and there are probably at least twice this number still to be discovered worldwide. Although most species are found in the tropics a few occur in temperate regions. There are about 130 native European cockroaches and, perhaps surprisingly, new species are still being discovered in this well studied region.
Regrettably most people seem to regard all cockroaches as offensive and destructive vermin. However, this reputation is deserved by less than 30 species (< 1% of the total) - the vast majority being secretive insects which never associate with man. As a group cockroaches exhibit a remarkable diversity of size, form, coloration and behaviour and occupy a very wide range of habitats from caves to mountains, from rainforests to deserts.
Sand-burrowing desert cockroach of family Polyphagidae, from dunes of the western USA. Copyright Marshal Hedin.
Some tropical cockroaches are thought to live only in the nests of social insects and there are even amphibious species which dive under water when threatened. Although most cockroaches are probably omnivorous, the ability to feed exclusively on rotting wood has evolved at least three separate times: in the ancestor of Cryptocercus and the termites; in the blaberid subfamily Panesthiinae; and in the blaberid Parasphaeria boleiriana.
Adult male Gromphadorhina grandidieri from southern Madagascar.
Many cockroach species are wingless or have reduced wings and some (e.g. the Cuban burrowing cockroach Byrsotria fumigata) have fully winged males and females with greatly reduced wings. Asian and Australasian Panesthia species, which burrow in decaying wood, have well developed wings when they first become adults, but these soon break off about one third of the way down their length, presumably once the insects have dispersed. Many cockroaches are sexually dimorphic, for example the Madagascan hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina and their relatives) which are often kept as pets. The males of these cockroaches have well developed 'horns' on their pronota (the plate covering the head) which they use to fight rival males - the largest individual usually emerging as the victor.
Adult male Lucihormetica fenestrata from Brazil.
The males of one South American cockroach, Lucihormetica fenestrata, have raised yellowish tubercles on their pronota which are bioluminescent and may play a role in courtship. It is currently unknown how this bioluminescence is produced, but one suggestion is that the spongy material inside the tubercles harbours bioluminescent fungi or bacteria which the cockroach may acquire from the rotting wood in which it lives. Related species have similar tubercles which may also emit light.
The world's heaviest cockroach is the wingless Australian rhinoceros cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros), which weighs up to 33.5 grams and has a body length of up to 80 mm. It has one of the most complex life-histories of all cockroaches and, with a lifespan of more than 10 years, it is among the longest lived of all insects. The species with the greatest wingspan is the Central and South American Megaloblatta blaberoides, which has a spread of up to 185 mm. The smallest is the North American Attaphila fungicola, which measures less than 3 mm long and lives in the nests of leafcutter ants.
|Some of the largest & smallest cockroaches. Megaloblatta longipennis (top), Attaphila bergi (left) and Macropanesthia rhinoceros (right).|
Cockroaches are more diverse in their reproductive biology than probably any other order of insects. One species, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, is parthenogenic (the ability to reproduce without mating), but males are found in all other species which have been studied.
Ootheca of Archiblatta hoeveni from Malaysia.
Species in the families Nocticolidae, Polyphagidae, Blattidae, Cryptocercidae and most Blattellidae, produce hardened oothecae (egg cases) which are dropped on the ground, buried, or attached to substrate using a salivary cement. In contrast, species in the family Blaberidae plus a few Blattellidae, have membranous oothecae which are incubated in a brood sac within the female's body until the eggs hatch. One blaberid, Diploptera punctata, has a greatly reduced oothecal membrane which does not cover the eggs. Remarkably this species produces a nutritious 'milk' from the wall of the brood sac on which the developing embryos feed. Species in the blaberid subfamily Geoscapheinae have lost the oothecal membrane altogether and the eggs are deposited straight into the brood sac. These cockroaches exhibit a high level of parental care. The nymphs live with the mother in her burrow until they are about half grown and the female provides food for them by pulling dead leaves and other vegetation into the burrow.
Female epilamprine cockroach from India carrying young.
Perisphaerus sp. from Malaysia with well developed young, which have recently left the underside of the mother.
Female Perisphaerus sp. from Malaysia rolled up into a defensive ball.
Cockroaches have evolved a wide range of strategies to avoid being eaten by predators. Most, like the leaf green Panchlora species, rely on camouflage, whilst a few have warning coloration or mimic distasteful insects (e.g. Prosoplecta from South-East Asia, which mimic ladybird beetles, Coccinellidae). Cockroaches of the genus Perisphaerus roll up into a ball like pill millipedes or woodlice when molested, but most depend on speed and agility to escape. One currently unnamed South African species of Blattellidae has greatly enlarged hind legs which enable it to jump like a grasshopper. This species hops between grass stalks and apparently specialises in eating bird droppings.
A few cockroach species possess active defence mechanisms. These include spraying repellent fluid from abdominal glands like Diploptera punctata or Archiblatta hoeveni and producing startling noises by expelling air rapidly through abdominal spiracles, as in the Madagascan hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina and their relatives).
Adult female Archiblatta hoeveni from Malaysia.
Apart from extensive studies of the major pest species very little work has been done on cockroaches as a whole and they remain relatively neglected by both amateur and professional entomologists alike. The majority of species are easy to keep and breed in captivity and they don't require a constant supply of fresh leaves like stick-insects or live-foods like praying mantids. Why don't you start keeping and studying them? There is still a lot to discover!
Die ?Blattodea Culture Group? (BCG) ist eine nicht gewinnorientierte Gesellschaft ohne wirtschaftliche Interessen. Sie wurde 1986 mit dem Ziel gegründet, die weltweite Erforschung von Schaben zu fördern. Die BCG gibt die Farbzeitschrift ?Cockroach Studies? heraus, die ein bis zwei Mal jährlich erscheint und deren Beiträge von Schabenzuchten über Sammelreiseberichte bis hin zur Beschreibung neuer Schabenarten reicht.
Die BCG richtet zweimal jährlich Treffen aus (in England und Deutschland), auf denen Mitgliedern Vorträge geboten werden und ein Austausch von Lebendmaterial stattfindet. Die Gruppe pflegt eine Liste aller ihnen bekannter in Zucht gehaltener Arten, die zu einem groÿen Teil auch von dem BCG ?Livestock? Koordinator gepflegt werden. Die Zuchtüberschüsse des Koordinators und der Mitgliedern der Gesellschaft werden auf den Treffen verteilt.
Besucher dieser Seite, die Informationen über Schaben suchen (eher als über die BCG), sollten den Artikel ?Cockroaches: An Amazing Diversity? lesen. Zahlreiche Informationen finden sich ebenfall in den alten BCG Newslettern. Demnächst wird die ?Database of Cockroach Literature? hunderte nicht mehr copyright geschützte Artikel und Bücher über Schaben enthalten.
A comprehensive world catalogue of cockroaches called the Blattodea Species File (BSF) is now available on the Web see:-
http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/HomePage.aspx. The catalogue contains approximately 6,420 scientific names and of these about 4,560 represent valid cockroach species. For more information about the BSF and what information it contains please see http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/Database.aspx.
If you notice any errors or names which are missing from the BSF then please inform the author, George Beccaloni (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, if you are a taxonomist and describe any cockroach taxa in the future then please send George a copy of your publication (as a pdf file if possible) so that he can keep the BSF up-to-date.
Examples of some searches you can perform:-
To find a species or genus name:- Go to http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/HomePage.aspx then click on "Search" link at the top of the page. Then type in (or copy and paste) the name of the species you want to find (e.g. "rothi") into the "Name of taxon" search box. Next click the "Submit" button, and you will either go straight to the species record or have to select (and click on) the species name in the results list. Click "Search" at the top of the page to do another search.
To list all the taxa described by a particular author:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click "Complex search" and type the name of the author (e.g. "Bohn") into the "Author" field and click the "Submit" button. A list of the taxa which the author described will then be listed and you can click on a name to go to the full record.
To Generate a list of the types in an institution:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click "Complex search" and type a name of an institution e.g. "BMNH" into the "Depository" field and click the "Submit" button. A list of the species/subspecies with types in the BM(NH) will be shown and you can click on a name in the list to go to the full record. [Note that only the types in the BM(NH), the UMO Oxford, and a few other institutions, are currently in the database.]
To see what images are currently in the database:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click on the "Image" box and click "Submit". A list of the species which have images will be shown and you can click on one of these to see the pictures (click on the thumbnails to enlarge).
To browse through the taxa in the database:- Click on "Taxa" at the top of the page and then click a family name. A list of all the valid genera will be shown and you can then click a genus to list the species it contains. Click a species name to view its full record.
Your help is needed!
One of the main long-term goals of the BSF project is to make available photographs of all cockroach primary types, plus images of living individuals, photographs of genitalia etc. Having a comprehensive set of photographs of world cockroach species available on the Web would be of great benefit to everyone who is interested in cockroaches. Please note that if you have any images which you would like to include in the BSF, then please send them to George by e-mail or on CD/DVD. JPEGs are preferred and image files should ideally be no larger than 1MB. If you do not hold the copyright of an image then please ensure that you have the permission of the copyright holder to publish the image on the Web. If you own the copyright then that will be stated in the BSF. You could also add copyright information as text to the bottom of the image as in the picture below.
Can you help?
Cockroach Studies is a high quality journal which is costly to produce because it is printed in full colour. Unfortunately the cost of producing two issues per year is currently greater than the money the BCG receives in membership fees, so until membership numbers increase the Group will either have to produce only one (larger) issue of CS per year, or find sponsorship to subsidise the production of the second issue. The second option would be the ideal one, so if you or your company are interested in possible sponsorship then please contact George Beccaloni. Even pest control companies are welcome! Sponsors will be given either a full page or half page in CS to advertise their company, depending on the level of sponsorship.
Old newspaper clippings can be found in the Cockroach Clippings gallery.
Radio New Zealand interview with George Beccaloni about the Blattodea Species File. (Download)
Short video of George Beccaloni talking about cockroaches.
Report from China on the Blattodea Species File.
Republic of Tartarstan (!) Information Agency report on the BSF.
Weather presenter who's not as keen on cockroaches as BCG members.
Phil Bragg appears in a 5min Channel 4 show on cockroaches. (Download)
London BCG Meeting:
Invitation to the Fourth European Meeting of the
Blattodea Culture Group (BCG)
Courtyard Room, The Natural History Museum, London
We would like to invite you to attend the fourth meeting of the BCG. Please arrive at the museum after 10 AM and enter via the main Cromwell Road entrance. To get to the Courtyard Rooms walk into the Central Hall, go past the dinosaur skeleton, turn into the corridor on your right, enter the door which leads to the public restaurant and go down the stairs to the left of the lift. At the bottom of the staircase walk a few feet straight ahead and when you come to the locked door ring the bell and someone will let you into the meetings room. Please ask a member of Museum staff if you have problems finding the room, or phone Judith Marshall on 020 7942 5610.
10.30am - 12.00am INFORMAL GATHERING
12.00am - 1.30pm Presentations (c. 20 minutes each) as follows:-
Collecting giant hissing cockroaches in Madagascar.
Ian Abercrombie [provisional]
Collecting cockroaches in south-east Asia.
A clip of Adrian's recent TV appearance.
Collecting cockroaches in Borneo.
1.30pm - 2.30pm LUNCH (bring packed lunch or buy locally)
2.30pm - 3.00pm LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE (please bring your surplus livestock *packaged* to give away)
3.00 - 4.30pm FURTHER INFORMAL GATHERING / BCG COMMITTEE MEETING
*2008 BCG Subscriptions*
Members are reminded to please pay their subscriptions for this year. The cost is the same as last year i.e. £14/20 Euros for EU members, or £21/30 Euros for non-EU members. Subscriptions should be sent by Sterling cheque, made payable to "The Blattodea Culture Group", to the Membership Secretary (Judith Marshall, Entomology Department, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK), or given to her at the BCG meeting as cash or cheque. If you wish to pay in Euros or another currency then please contact Judith (email@example.com) to ask for instructions before trying to pay.
By Darren Mann (Curatorial Officer, Hope Entomological Collections, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK)
The papers on cockroach rearing techniques listed by Bodenstein & Fales (1969) are now somewhat out of date, although many of the works cited are still useful. The bibliography provided here includes some of the more important works listed by these authors and updates their list to the end of 2004, with papers considered to contain valuable culturing techniques for cockroaches.
(ISSN 1862-6491) is a full colour journal which is published twice yearly and is sent to BCG members. Cockroach Studies publishes contributions ranging from articles about breeding cockroaches in captivity and reports about collecting trips; to more technical papers about the taxonomy, biology and ecology of cockroaches. Authors of technical contributions are asked to follow the Instructions to Authors.
A pdf of the first issue of Cockroach Studies can be downloaded here. Note that only the first issue is available in pdf form and that all subsequent issues will be available in printed form only.
By Adrian Durkin (Exhibitions Officer, Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Dudley, UK)
Many years ago, on a dark and wet Saturday in October, I attended the Amateur Entomological Society (A.E.S.) fair at Hounslow Civic Centre, London, England. In many ways this was an ideal location for such an event because the building is clad in what appears to be Purbeck Roach Stone. Regrettably this does not refer to the fossil content but none the less it is of interest as it is mostly composed of the internal moulds of gastropods.
Quite close to the entrance I encountered a young entomologist selling quite a number of different invertebrates but with a marked bias towards cockroaches. At that stage I had been collecting them myself for about a year or two and had possibly eight or so species. It is so long ago now that I cannot recall what first attracted me to these insects. I think however it was the number of different forms and the subtle variation within the group. I had graduated to cockroaches from their fellow orthopteroids, stick insects. It is hard to imagine a greater contrast between groups which in evolutionary terms are quite closely related.
As the day went on and the stalls became less busy it was possible to engage the proprietor of the stall in conversation. Surprisingly he had not sold all of his roaches, indeed far from it, there seemed little demand. His name was Darren Mann and as our conversation progressed it became clear that he too was a cockroach enthusiast and had a similar number of species to myself, although different ones. Instantly, allowing for some duplication, the combined culture list had grown to about 12 species.
It was instantly apparent that the same idea was forming in each of our minds, that of forming an appreciation society. However the revelations of the day did not end there because Darren introduced me to his friend George Beccaloni, who, like Darren, was just a young innocent! And fresh-faced student in those days. It transpired that George too kept cockroaches and had a few that neither of us had. The collective culture list jumped for the second time that day to about 15 and the likelihood of there being an appreciation group evolved further.
As time went on it was decided to develop the idea and we publicised ourselves through appearances at fairs such as one in Leicester and of course the A.E.S. The first hurdle was to find a name for the group. I personally felt that it was a bit pretentious to call ourselves a study group as there was no guarantee that we would do any studying. I was also anxious to keep the group down-to-earth by calling it the Cockroach Culture Group. I was able to convince the others about the culture element but they felt that a scientific name was preferable and so we became the Blattodea Culture Group. I now realise that this was the right decision not because it was scientific but because it obscured the truth. No one feels threatened by blattids whereas they start getting paranoid if you keep cockroaches!
In the early days the group went well and membership peaked at around 120, whilst I think that the species list went up to about 40. We began the newsletter too (that was in 1986). The first edition was just two pages and did not have much about cockroaches, even the second edition was not a major study document although it did carry an article pondering how many different Blaberus species there were in captivity. However after five or six years problems began to develop. It seemed to be the usual one, amateur members did not consider themselves competent enough to write articles whilst many of the professional entomologists in the group could not get the time to write articles. None the less the group continued producing newsletters up until Volume 14 in 2000. Both Darren and George became professional entomologists although George corrupted himself by doing his PhD on butterflies (traitor). Fate however has moved events full circle. Darren is now a curator at one of the two most important collections of cockroaches in England, that of the Hope Collection at the Natural History Museum in Oxford. George on the other hand has recently become curator of the other, the Orthopteroidea collection of The Natural History Museum in London. Neither of these things in themselves would have resurrected the fortunes of the group but we have been fortunate to get the interest of Ingo Fritzsche who has managed to mobilise much support for the group in Germany. He has been able to bring on board the valued services of Roland Dusi from the German chemical firm frunol delicia. It was with kind support from them that we were able to have a re-inaugural meeting at Delitzsch near Leipzig in Germany. The company keeps over 100 different species of cockroaches in their research collection and they were kind enough not only to host the meeting but to give us access to the collection. In the face of inspiration like this it would be impossible for the group not to feel a new sense of purpose and we therefore hope to resurrect the society. Who says phoenixes have to be birds?
BCG Newsletter Volume 12 Issue 1 (First report of BCG culture)
Blattodea Species File entry for this species (Includes images of adult male and ootheca)
The Blattodea culture Group (BCG) is a worldwide group of cockroach enthusiasts and amateur and professional entomologists. As well as content generated by the Group this site uses a taxonomy provided by the Blattodea SpeciesFile to display information from numerous resources on one page (use the Taxonomy Search or browse the cockroach taxonomy.
The Group publishes a full colour journal, Cockroach Studies, which is distributed to members. Members of the group also have access to free livestock (for a list of species that have been in culture see the BCG Culture List) and are able to attend the Group's meetings.
The BCG also runs The Cockroach Forum, an online discussion board for all things to do with cockroaches.
This site is moderated by George Beccaloni on behalf of the contributors who retain copyright. Content can be used in accordance with a CC Licence. More information on the site contributors can be found here.
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