Effect of shelter on reproduction, growth and longevity of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae)
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German cockroaches spend most of the day in aggregations within shelters, which they leave in nocturnal foraging trips; cockroaches are rarely seen outside shelters during daylight hours. However, when population density exceeds shelter availability, diurnal aggregations form in exposed, unsheltered
locations. To determine if shelter availability affects fitness of B. germanica, we reared cohorts of nymphs in laboratory arenas with or without shelters, and measured reproduction and longevity of tagged adults. When shelters were available in arenas, nymphs developed faster, adults gained more body mass, and females produced more fertile oothecae than when arenas lacked shelters. Therefore, shelter alone has a significant positive effect on growth and reproduction of B. germanica, and reducing or eliminating shelters should affect population growth of B. germanica in residential and industrial settings.
Is part ofEuropean Journal of Entomology, 2011, vol. 108, p. 205-210
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