The population size, age-class structure, and movement of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (L.) (Dictyoptera: Blattidae), were studied in three sewers in Penang, Malaysia, from September 2008 to October 2009. Eighteen to 20 glass-jar traps (two per manhole) were deployed for a 24-h period during each sampling occasion at each sewer. Adults and nymphs were active throughout the study period, with an average monthly trap catch of 57–97 adults and 79–99 nymphs. The mean proportions of adults and nymphs at the three sewers ranged from 0.47 to 0.57. Of the 2,177 male and 2,717 female cockroaches marked and released over the three sewers, recapture rates were 29.4–45.8 and 30.8–47.0%, respectively. The proportion of marked males and females did not differ significantly from the proportion of recaptured marked males and females. However, the mean number of times a marked female was recaptured was significantly greater than that of males. Of the 783 males and 1,030 females that were marked and recaptured, 19.4 and 24.7%, respectively, had moved between manholes, and significantly more females than males moved between manholes. Of the 406 recaptured marked adults that moved between manholes, 90.4% moved a distance of 2–20 m from their initial release site; one male moved 192 m, the longest distance recorded. Trap catch on each sampling occasion was positively correlated with daily mean temperature. The number of cockroach movements between manholes also was correlated with the mean daily minimum temperature.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4