Madeira Cockroaches

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Rhyparobia maderae

APPEARANCE

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.

REPRODUCTION

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.

DISTRIBUTION

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.

OTHER INFORMATION

Madeira cockroaches are commonly used as research animals in many research laboratories.