The Surinam cockroach is a common plant pest that is mostly found in the Himalayan region. This species of cockroach is mostly comprised of females which reproduce parthenogenically. It is a peridomestic species but is not considered as a major household pest. In most regions where it is found, people considered it a garden pest. This species is found to be the host of parasitic roundworms that infect the eyes of poultry.
• Surinam cockroach
• Greenhouse cockroach
• Burrowing cockroach
Morphology of the Surinam Cockroach
The adults of the Surinam cockroach have a length of 18 to 25 mm. They have a shiny brown color on their wings with a black body. The head shield (pronotum) has pale white band. The male, are rarely produced in a typical colony. They have longer wing than the females although both sexes do not fly adequately.
Behavior and Diet of the Surinam Cockroach
The Surinam cockroach is cosmopolitan and found around the world in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is often found in greenhouses where they have optimal growth temperature. This is why it is often dubbed the greenhouse cockroach. Pycnoscelus surinamensis is also a burrowing cockroach as it prefers to burrow in compost piles in loose soil and in lawn thatch. It can also be found hiding under rocks. Mostly peridomestic species, this roach can also move into homes in search of food and favorable living environmental conditions. The adult females of the Suriname cockroach are capable of flying and are attracted to light.
Life Cycle of the Pycnoscelus surinamensis
The life cycle of this species is somewhat unusual. Besides sexual reproduction, it is found that it can produce offspring by parthenogenesis, producing only females in the United States. Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction in which a female produce offspring from unfertilized eggs and so without mating. Although this phenomenon is common in many other cockroach species, several studies indicate that parthenogenesis is obligatory in the Surinam cockroach at least in the United States. In other parts of the world, both males and females can be found. The females of this species retain their ootheca which can contain about 26 embryos. The development of embryos into nymph takes about 35 days. Each female can produce up to three ootheca during her life time. The lifespan of Surinam cockroach is about 10 months.
Distribution and Habitat of the P. surinamensis
Many researchers believe that the Surinam cockroach originates from the Indian regions. But it can nowadays be found in all parts of the world. In the United States, the Surinam cockroach is mostly found in the Southeastern States. This species often infest homes, greenhouses and gardens.