Scientific Name : Periplaneta americana,
Family : Blattidae
Tamil Name : Karapan poochi
Description: Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattodea, sometimes called Blattaria, of which about 30 species out of 4,600 total are associated with human habitats. About four species are well known as household pests. American cockroaches are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless. The body of the cockroach is divided in three sections; the body is flattened and broadly oval, with a shield-like pronotum covering its head. A pronotum is a plate-like structure that covers all or part of the dorsal surface of the thorax of certain insects. They also have chewing mouth parts, long, segmented antennae, and leathery fore wings with delicate hind wings. The third section of the cockroach is the abdomen.
Habits :The insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. The odorous secretions produced by American cockroaches can alter the flavor of food. Also, if populations of cockroaches are high, there will be a strong concentration of this odorous secretion. Cockroaches can pick up disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella, on their legs and later deposit them on foods and cause food infections or poisoning. House dust containing cockroach feces and body parts can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in certain individuals. American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
Food : American cockroaches are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders that eat a great variety of materials such as cheese, beer, leather, bakery products, starch in book bindings, manuscripts, glue, hair, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, plant materials, soiled clothing, and glossy paper with starch sizing. It is particularly fond of fermenting foods. They have also been observed to feed upon dead or wounded cockroaches of their own or other species.
Life cycle: American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Females produce an egg case (ootheca) which protrudes from the tip of the abdomen. On average, females produce 9–10 ootheecae, although they can sometimes produce as many as 90. After about two days of carrying, the egg cases are placed on a surface in a safe location. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6–8 weeks and require 6–12 months to mature. After hatching, the nymphs feed and undergo a series of 13 moultings (or ecdysis). Adult cockroaches can live up to an additional year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.
Role in the environment: In cold weather these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Cockroach populations may be controlled through the use of insecticides. It is also wise to cover any cracks or crevices through which cockroaches may enter. Also, always clean any spills or messes that have been made so that the cockroaches will not be attracted to the food source. Another way to prevent an infestation of cockroaches is to thoroughly check any material that is brought inside. Cockroaches and egg cases can be hidden inside or on furniture, in boxes, suitcases, grocery bags, etc
Photo source : http//. en.wikipedia.org/American_cockroach