Alice Springs Fauna •

Member of genus Pycnoscelus, possibly Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Surijnam Cockroach), it is one of the burrowing cockroach and considered a pest species in Australia. It is found tropical and subtropical regions, with isolated populations in temperate climates (usually in protective habitats such as pot plants and green houses.

Its populations are almost exclusively female, and it reproduces through parthenogenesis, having evolved several clonal strains from its sexual progenitor P. indicus.

Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT

Nymphs are around 4.5 mm long at birth, translucent white with orange-brown mandibles and spines, and darker eye spots than the rest of the head. The exoskeleton gradually hardens on exposure to air, becoming a glossy brown in 5 to 6 hours, while its underside and legs remain translucent. Older nymphs develop shiny black anterior abdominal segments, and roughened, dull black posterior segments.

Adults are around 18–25 mm in length, and have dark brown to black bodies with shiny paler brown wings.

Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Blattodea
  • Superfamily: Blaberoidea
  • Family: Blaberidae
  • Subfamily: Pycnoscelinae
  • Genus: Pycnoscelus
  • Species: Pycnoscelus surinamensis
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT
Pycnoscelus sp, Cockroach, Alice Springs NT

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks to Matthew Connors for ID, member of Australasian Beetles Only, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1180404322409639/
  2. Pycnoscelus Scudder, 1862, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/6f9cff83-c63a-4ded-b6df-0b60394cda9f
  3. Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Linnaeus, 1758), Surinam Cockroach, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/091e5d5f-bb90-4e8e-ae40-1a039136c3aa

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Native Bees Alice Springs Beetles Alice Springs Birds Alice Springs Gastropods (Gastropoda) Alice Springs Insects Alice Springs Marsupials Alice Springs Reptiles Alice Springs Spiders

Alice Springs FloraAlice Springs Flora Index Acacia ligulata Annual Yellowtop Bougainvillea Apple Bush Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander