Adult Madeira cockroaches are about 1-½ to 2-inches long and have a mottled appearance on the front wing that appears to be a fishnet-like pattern. The adults are pale brown to tawny-olive in color. The wings of both sexes fully cover the abdomen.
BEHAVIOR, DIET & HABITS
The adults crawl quickly and are good flyers. When disturbed, they emit a smelly, offensive odor. The Madeira cockroach has a very long life span, reported to be up to 2 ½ years.
Despite its preference for environments with high temperatures, it can adapt itself to sheltered life in temperate climates. Its establishment in New York City buildings shows evidence of this. Other preferred habitats include plants in atriums, greenhouses and other indoor plantscapes.
Females can produce an egg case of about 35 eggs that is initially carried by the female. This trait is not unusual for cockroaches, except the Madeira female will carry the egg case, extrude it, then rotate the case and finally draw the egg case back into the body and incubate the egg case internally for about two months. The egg case is about ½ to ¾-inch long and is bright yellow.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
Appearances of the adult and nymph cockroaches, plus the egg cases are obvious signs of an infestation.
This species is reported in the United States from the Puerto Rico section of New York City and Hawaii, but could occur sporadically in other parts of the country.
Madeira cockroaches are commonly used as research animals in many research laboratories.