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Aquatic roaches


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There are dozens (if not hundreds) of species of aquatic roaches, all of which belong to the Blaberidae subfamily Epilamprinae. They are found throughout the tropics in rainforest habitats and I have personally collected them in Ecuador (from water-filled bromeliads), and in Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Malaysia (under stones beside forest streams). Some species are more aquatic than others e.g. Epilampra abdomennigrum from Costa Rica actively swims and dives below the surface of water, whilst Stictolampra trilineata from Papua New Guinea climbs over submerged rocks (probably because it lives in fast flowing streams and would be swept away if it tried to swim). For more information about aquatic roaches see the excellent recently published book on cockroaches by Bell, Roth & Nalepa (http://www.amazon.com/Cockroaches-Ecology-Behavior-Natural-History/dp/0801886163).

George Beccaloni

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Orin, if you ever find it, please don't forget to post it on the forum as I'm very interested to find out more about them in the wild.

Best wishes

Fredrik

Hi Fredrik,

I can't remember where I read it. It was a report on the species in the wild, not a caresheet.

A little experiment in a 40 gallon and they are able to surface after being submerged and can stay afloat at least two hours and the water doesn't see ot harm them at all. That's better than other semi-aquatics I've seen.

Aquatic insects like waterscorpions would drown in that amount of time without a place to perch.

Although there are a number of species associated with aqutic environments I dont believe there are any with oar-shaped legs or really noticeable external differences.

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Although there are a number of species associated with aqutic environments I dont believe there are any with oar-shaped legs or really noticeable external differences.

Ah ok. That's what I was imagining an aquatic roach to look like. Now I understand that they're just sort of resistant to water. There are quite a few bugs that can survive for some time submerged. I used to go around the pool at my grandparents house when I was little and fish out all the isopods on the bottom and most of them were still alive.

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Are any aquatic roaches available in the US?

IME in a viv isopods drown very easily. Some survive and manage to climb up the glass, only to drown in the film of water on the glass.

Also, does anyone know if Lethocercus grandis is available live in the US? I hear they are sold in Chinatowns as food but have never seen them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The American Cockroach I would say is semi-aquatic being it can swim so well and mostly living in sewers you get ALOT of water constantly. Even if another roach could live in a sewer and stay out of the water, the large amount of moisture would kill them not to mention the ever changing temperature.

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The American Cockroach I would say is semi-aquatic being it can swim so well and mostly living in sewers you get ALOT of water constantly. Even if another roach could live in a sewer and stay out of the water, the large amount of moisture would kill them not to mention the ever changing temperature.

in fact quite a lot roaches are, since they are from the wet era whereas huge amphibians walk on earth

and you will be amazed how much tolerance they have...

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  • 3 weeks later...

While I was in Costa Rica, I found this roach to be pretty common in (extra) wet areas and in running water. If it were feeding on something above or near the water, it would run to the water or just dive in and go under some rock or other available crevice. I even found some underneath a submerged piece of wood. If they get into water they can move very fast.

CRsemiaquaticroach.jpg

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While I was in Costa Rica, I found this roach to be pretty common in (extra) wet areas and in running water. If it were feeding on something above or near the water, it would run to the water or just dive in and go under some rock or other available crevice. I even found some underneath a submerged piece of wood. If they get into water they can move very fast.

CRsemiaquaticroach.jpg

I had the pleasure of owning a small colony of these briefly, but it nevertook root. entertaining little fellas, had to keep them in a semi aquatic state.. i forget exactly how i kept them its been so long but they were good swimmers.

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  • 6 years later...

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