Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Blattodea (Cockroaches, termites) ➔ Family Blaberidae (Giant cockroaches)

Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Gewächshausschabe Surinam Cockroach

Synonyms:

Blatta corticum Serville, 1838 | Blatta melanocephala Stoll, 1813 | Blatta surinamensis Linnaeus, 1758 | Epilampra dimorpha Shiraki, 1906 | Epilampra tatei Tepper, 1894 | Panchlora celebesa Walker, F., 1868 | Panchlora occipitalis Walker, F., 1871 | Perispherus laevis Le Guillou, 1841 | Polyzosteria crassipes Walker, F., 1868 | Polyzosteria latipes Walker, F., 1868 | Pycnoscelus obscurus Scudder, 1862 | Pycnoscelus surinamensis major Roeser, 1940 | Pycnoscelus surinamensis minor Roeser, 1940 |

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis  9064
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2019-03-15 09:29:16
    Image number: 9064

    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2019-03-15 09:29:16

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, bottom view  9065
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, bottom view
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2019-03-15 09:28:48
    Image number: 9065
    bottom view
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2019-03-15 09:28:48

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph  8189
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2018-04-29 09:09:50
    Image number: 8189
    nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2018-04-29 09:09:50

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph  8190
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2018-04-29 09:09:02
    Image number: 8190
    nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2018-04-29 09:09:02

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph  8192
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2018-04-29 09:16:28
    Image number: 8192
    nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2018-04-29 09:16:28

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph  8191
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2018-04-17 10:22:54
    Image number: 8191
    nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2018-04-17 10:22:54

  • Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph  9082
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758)  Gewächshausschabe  Surinam Cockroach 
    Pycnoscelus surinamensis, nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma; 2019-10-23 09:39:00
    Image number: 9082
    nymph
    ES, Fuerteventura, Costa Calma
    2019-10-23 09:39:00


Further vernacular names:
Greenhouse Cockroach
Distribution:
Circumtropical (Asian origin)
Habitat:
Tropics and subtropics. In temperate climates, Pycnoscelus surinamensis can be found in protected places, especially in greenhouses. The burrowing species lives in loose, sandy soil or beneath trash and debris.
Description:
The predominantly dark brown imagines are about 18 - 25 mm long. They have slightly lighter, shiny brown wings. The front edge of the dark pronotum shows a pale band.
The nymphs have a broad, brown body, which appears shiny in the front and rather dull in the back.
Biology:
Both the nimble larvae and the imagines of the Surinam Cockroach Pycnoscelus surinamensis are nocturnal. They live underground in loose soil, under litter, mulch or similar materials and feed on plant matter. In greenhouses, they cause damage especially to the roots, which leads to the death of the plants.
The Greenhouse or Surinam Cockroach Pycnoscelus surinamensis proliferates parthenogenetically. Parthenogenesis is a form of single-sex reproduction in which offspring develop from unfertilized egg cells.
The bisexual form is often considered as a separate species and called Pycnoscelus indicus (Fabricius, 1775).
The Surinam Cockroach is oviviviparous. The females produce yolk-rich eggs that are not immediately deposited. The embryos developing in the eggs feed on the egg yolk. The larvae hatch either still in the mother's body or shortly after oviposition.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Beccaloni G.W. (2016). CockroachSF: Cockroach Species File (version 5.0/5.0, Dec 2015). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2016 Annual Checklist (Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Flann C., Bailly N., Kirk P., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., eds). Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2016. Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-884X.
  2. William J. Bell; Louis M. Roth; Christine A. Nalepa: Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2007