Desert Dwellers

Cockroaches that live in the desert typically have morphological adaptations allowing for the conservation of water and for ease in negotiating their sandy environment. Adult females and nymphs are shaped like smooth, truncated ovals, with short, spined legs (e.g., Arenivaga investigata—Friauf and Edney, 1969). The head is strongly hooded by the pronotum, and cuticular extensions of the thoracic and abdominal tergites cover the

Fig. 1.14 Female of the wood-boring cockroach Compsagis lesnei. Left, whole body. Right, head and pronotum: ventral view (top), lateral view (bottom). From Chopard (1952), with permission of Société Entomologique de France.
Fig. 1.15 Male ofthe desert-dwelling Iranian cockroach Leiop-teroblatta monodi, exhibiting the long hairs that create an insulating boundary layer of air in many desert-dwelling cockroaches. From Chopard (1969), with permission of the Société Entomologique de France.

body and the legs. The periphery of the body is fringed by hairs that directly contact the substrate when the insect is on the desert surface, creating a boundary layer of air and trapping respiratory water (Fig. 1.15). A microclimate that is more favorable than the general desert atmosphere is thus maintained under the body (Vannier and Ghab-bour, 1983). Most of these desert dwellers are in the Polyphagidae, but some Polyzosteria spp. (Blattidae) that inhabit dry areas of Australia are apterous, are broadly

Fig. 1.16 Cockroaches that live in nests of social insects. (A) Male myrmecophile Myrmecoblatta wheeleri; left, ventral view; right, dorsal view. From Deyrup and Fisk (1984), with permission of M.A. Deyrup. (B) Female myrmecophile Attaphila fungicola. From Wheeler (1900). (C) Termitophile Nocticola termitophila; left, female; right, male. From Silvestri (1946). Not drawn to scale.

Fig. 1.16 Cockroaches that live in nests of social insects. (A) Male myrmecophile Myrmecoblatta wheeleri; left, ventral view; right, dorsal view. From Deyrup and Fisk (1984), with permission of M.A. Deyrup. (B) Female myrmecophile Attaphila fungicola. From Wheeler (1900). (C) Termitophile Nocticola termitophila; left, female; right, male. From Silvestri (1946). Not drawn to scale.

oval, and have a "remarkably hairy covering" (Mackerras, 1965a).

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