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Wingless cockroach

Most Australian cockroaches are found in native habitats and are not pests of crops. Calolampra spp. has been reported as a pest of seedlings in Central Queensland.

Scientific name

Calolampra elegans and C. solida

Other names

  • Native Australian black cockroach

Description

  • Adults of C. elegans are 25-35mm long and shiny brown with yellow stripes and margins.
  • C. solida males are fully winged, females are wingless.
  • Nymphs are initially greyish-brown or tan, developing yellow markings when about half adult size.

May be confused with

  • House or American cockroach (Periplaneta americana).
  • Other native woodland cockroaches.

Distribution and habitat

  • Native to Australia. Recorded as irregular pests in Queensland's Central Highlands.
  • Wingless cockroach populations reach highest densities under no tillage with stubble retained.
  • Other native cockroaches that have been recorded as minor pests include Cosmozosteria sp. and Platyzosteria sp.

Hosts

Seedlings of all field crops.

Damage

  • Small seedlings: feeds on cotyledons and stems, often severing the stem.
  • Larger seedlings: feeds on the leaves and growing points.

Life cycle

Wingless cockroaches are nocturnal, feeding at night and sheltering by day under trash.

Monitoring and thresholds

Use germinating seed baits pre-plant to assess soil pest presence. Take action if 1 or more cockroaches are found per 2 baits.

Natural enemies

No effective natural enemies have been identified.

Control

  • Baiting with insecticide-treated cracked grain baits.
  • If the field has a history of cockroach damage, cultivation and/or destruction of stubble may help reduce populations.

Further information