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1 March 2001 Analysis of Specific Adaptation to a Domicile Habitat: A Comparative Study of Two Closely Related Cockroach Species
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Abstract

The German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.), and the closely related species B. bisignata (Brunner) belong to the germanica species group. They are similar in appearance, life history, reproductive cycle, and courtship behavior. The most significant difference is habitat preferences: B. germanica is a household species and lives in crowded conditions, whereas the feral B. bisignata lives outdoors in a solitary manner. Nevertheless, B. bisignata has recently been found in households. A comparison between the two species has shown that B. germanica displays gregarious behavior and produces an aggregation pheromone, whereas both characters are absent in B. bisignata. Mate preference experiments have revealed that B. germanica females accepted only conspecific males, whereas B. bisignata females mated with males from both species, provided that long distance calling was bypassed. In addition, the high reproductive potential of B. germanica outcompeted the other species: when 10 pairs of B. germanica and of B. bisignata were kept together in crowded conditions during 3 mo, B. bisignata was driven into extinction. It is concluded that the chances of B. bisignata becoming a new household species are remote.

Chi-Wei Tsai and How-Jing Lee "Analysis of Specific Adaptation to a Domicile Habitat: A Comparative Study of Two Closely Related Cockroach Species," Journal of Medical Entomology 38(2), 245-252, (1 March 2001). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585-38.2.245
Received: 6 June 2000; Accepted: 1 October 2000; Published: 1 March 2001
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