Mountains

There are several indications that wing reduction or loss in cockroaches may be correlated with altitude. On Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, for example, fully alate Ectobius africanus females were collected only below 1000 m (Rehn, 1932b). In Australia, males in the genus Laxta may be macropterous, brachypterous, or apterous, but all known females lack wings. In the two cases where males are not fully winged, both were collected at altitude: Lax. aptera (male apterous) from the Brindabella Ranges and Snowy Mountains, and Lax.fraucai (male brachypterous) from northeastern Australia at 670-880 m (Mackerras, 1968b; Roach and Rentz, 1998; Roth, 1992). Although most Ischnoptera species are fully winged, the flightless Ischnoptera rufa debilis occurs at high altitude in Costa Rica (Fisk, 1982). The metabolic cost of flight may be substantial at the cold temperatures typical of high elevations (Wagner and Liebherr, 1992).

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