Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus)

Lu, Wenhua, Valentine, Barry D., Perez-Gelabert, Daniel E. & Gutiérrez, Esteban, 2014, Ecology and Diversity of Cockroaches (Dictyoptera: Blattaria) from the Virgin Islands, Insecta Mundi 2014 (349), pp. 1-32: 24

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Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus)


23. Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus)   ( Fig. 19 View Figures 17–20 )

Blatta americana Linnaeus 1758: 424   View Cited Treatment ; America.

Diagnosis. Adults 27–38 mm, with full tegmina in both sexes; elongate oval, reddish-brown; pronotum bicolored, disc with yellow encircling a large, irregular, central, reddish-brown area that is sometimes weakly divided into two; outer basal margin of tegmina without a contrasting yellow stripe; supra-anal plate sub-triangular, elongate, strongly bilobed, semi-transparent; cerci slender, almost as long as mid tarsi, apical 1/2 (female) or 1/3 (male) articles longer than broad. Nymphs are shades of brown without yellow spots or bands.

Comments. Cosmopolitan spread has produced multiple synonyms for Periplaneta americana   . This edificarian pest is easily distinguished from another widespread congener P. australasiae   (Species 24), by the tegmina color pattern. This is a common species on Guana Island; it is a nocturnal ground-dweller; individuals scurried around fallen tree trunks and rocks behind the hotel area ( Table 1). Familiarity and abundance explain the fact that few specimens were collected for island records. Ledru (1810) first reported it from St. Thomas and St. Croix, and Lazell (2005) from Guana Island. A local BVI pest control agent has confirmed its presence in major edificarian habitats on Virgin Gorda and Tortola (J. Egelhoff, pers. comm. 24.X.2011). It is herein recorded for the first time on Anegada and Little Thatch of BVI, and St. John of USVI, in addition to other previous records on St. Croix, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and other Antillean islands ( Shelford 1910, Princis 1966).

Specimens examined. BDVC — 1 male, BVI, Anegada Is. , airport vicinity, 20-21.X.2004, Valentines & Sibleys, at UV   ; 2 males, BVI, Guana Is. , 8-9.X.2004, B. D. Valentine & S. C. Valentine-Cooper, at UV   ; 2 males, BVI, Guana Is. , 6.X.2006 / 24.X.2007, B. D. Valentine family, at UV /under debris   ; 3 males / 4 females, BVI, Guana Is. , 1-7/15-21/ 22-28.X.2001, 9-15/ 23-30.X.2002, 8.X.2003, B. & B. Valentine, at UV   ; 2 males, BVI, Little Thatch Is. , 23.X.2008, W. Lu. MCZ — 5 adults, BVI, Guana Is., B. & B. Valentine. NMNH — 1 male, BVI: Guana Is., hotel area, 6-13.X.2001, D. E. Perez-Gelabert. UDCC — 1 male / 1 female, BVI, Guana Is., 21/ 23.X.1997, C. R. Bartlett. VIIS — 1 male, USVI, St. John Is., Lameshur Bay, 18-27.VII.1972, A. Gray   ; 1 male, USVI, St. John Is. , Lameshur Bay, 7. VII.1968, R. Philibosian   ; 1 female, USVI, St. John Is. , Lameshur Ranger Station, 15.XI.1958, C. F. Adams   .


Departamento de Biologia de la Universidad del Valle


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


University of Delaware


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile














Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus)

Lu, Wenhua, Valentine, Barry D., Perez-Gelabert, Daniel E. & Gutiérrez, Esteban 2014

Blatta americana

Linnaeus, C. 1758: 424