Worcestershire Record No. 5 Nov 1998 p. 13
A telephone call to Trust H.Q. at the beginning of September alerted me to a surprising find here in my own village of Defford. A lady, on returning from a shopping expedition to Pershore, was somewhat surprised when a large insect jumped out as she was opening a half-dozen box of eggs purchased in a High Street store.
An illustation in Marshall & Haes Grasshoppers and Allied Insects revealed that it was an older nymph of the Australian Cockroach Periplaneta australasiae. I made enquiries in the store and these led to a telephone conversation with the supplier of the eggs on a farm in Newent, W. Gloucestershire and an invitation to visit him to see if I could find any more!
The distribution map shows a post 1961 record for VC 34, West Gloucestershie, and a few other vice-counties. It is suggested that the species originated in tropical Africa then spread first with slave ships and then with other forms of trade. Like other non-native cockroach species, it is found in nurseries, warehouses and other heated buildings where it can be a pest.
It is now recorded in the WBRC as a first record for VC 37 (Worcestershire). Is it?
|MARSHALL JA & HAES ECM (1988) Grasshoppers and Allied Insects in Great Britain & Ireland. Harley Books|
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