SH Scudder The Cockroach of the Past

Cockroaches are found in nearly all habitats: tropical and temperate forests, grasslands, heath, steppe, salt marshes, coastal communities, and deserts. They are active in the entire vertical dimension of the terrestrial environment, from the upper forest canopy to deep in the soil, and inhabit caves, mines, hollow trees, burrows, and sub-bark spaces. They are also found in dead leaves, rotting logs, streams and stream edges, epiphytes, arboreal water pools, the nests of social insects, rodents, reptiles, and birds, and humanmade structures such as dwellings, ships, and aircraft (Roth and Willis, 1960). Cockroaches occur between latitudes 60°N and 50°S, but most are found between 30°N and 30°S in the warm, humid regions of the Old World (Africa) and tropical America (Guthrie and Tindall, 1968); they are less diverse in the temperate regions. Wolda et al. (1983) cites the number of species captured at various latitudes in Central and North America: 64 in Panama, 31 in Texas, 14 in Illinois, 9 in Michigan, 5 in Minnesota, and 2 in North Dakota. In the high arctic, pest cockroaches readily invade heated structures (Beebe, 1953; Danks, 1981), but several species are physiologically capable of dealing with extremely cold weather in their natural environment (e.g., Celatoblatta quinquemacu-lata—Worland et al., 2004). The general tendency is to live near sea level, where temperatures are higher (Boyer and Rivault, 2003). In his collections on Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo, Hanitsch (1933) found 19 cockroach species up to an altitude of 2135 m, but only three species above it. Light trap catches in Panama also indicate higher diversity in lowland than in mountain sites (Wolda et al., 1983). In Hawaii, Allacta similis was found no higher than 1600 m along an altitudinal transect and was thought to be excluded from higher altitudes by the cooler, wetter, montane environment (Gagné, 1979). Nonetheless, the relationship of cockroaches with altitude can be complex. On Volcán Barva in Costa Rica, no cockroaches were found at the lowest elevation sampled (100 m), but they were present at all other elevations (Atkin and Proctor, 1988). There are also montane specialists, such as Eupolyphaga everestiana on Mount Everest at 5640 m (Chopard, 1929).

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Cariblatta lutea Cariblatta minima Supella longipalpa Blattella germanica Ischnoptera deropeltiformis Parcoblatta virginica Parcoblatta fulvescens Parcoblatta lata Periplaneta americana Periplaneta brunnea Periplaneta australasiae Eurycotis floridana Pycnoscelus surinamensis Arenivaga floridensis sz ■O c c cd co

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Fig. 3.1 Occupation of different habitats by cockroaches in a reserve near the town of Welaka in northeastern Florida. Of the habitats examined, only four contained no cockroaches: ponds, lawns, and dry and moist sparsely vegetated sand. Based on information in Friauf (1953).

Fig. 3.1 Occupation of different habitats by cockroaches in a reserve near the town of Welaka in northeastern Florida. Of the habitats examined, only four contained no cockroaches: ponds, lawns, and dry and moist sparsely vegetated sand. Based on information in Friauf (1953).

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