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Austral Ellipsidion - Ellipsidion australe

The Beautiful Cockroach, Family Blattellidae

This page contains pictures and information about the Austral Ellipsidion Cockroaches that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
Body length 18mm
 
Not all cockroaches are ugly. This Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach looks beautiful. Its body is orange-brown to dark brown with white patterns. Its thorax is dark brown with a good looking yellow around the edge. The cockroach adult is winged, with brown forewings covered the black and white abdomen. Male and female look almost the same. Nymphs have the similar body structure except wingless.
 
Austral Ellipsidion Cockroaches are common in Brisbane. We found them all year round here.   
 
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Cockroaches are classified in order Blattodea. Most of them are beautiful insects although this perception is always outweighed by their name "cockroaches". They have long spiny legs, their antennae are longer than their body. The body is usually flat and broad so that they can squeeze into very tight gaps. The head is small and pointing downwards, concealed under the pronotum.
 
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They are very good runners.  This Cockroach  is active at day time, running openly on the leaves and flowers. Most other cockroaches are scavengers, they feed on almost everything. We are not exactly sure what this Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach feeds on, but they are always found on plants, seldom on the ground. They are believed feeding on pollen, honeydew and mould fungus. 

Cockroach Reproduction Cycle

Cockroach adults find their parts for mating. Mating preceded by courtship involving male and female pheromones. Copulating pairs remain joined for some time. The above photos were taken in mid summer. However, we believe the Austral Ellipsidion Cockroaches may not have the particular mating season. Mating can be seen any time of the year. 
 
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Mating 
 
Austral Ellipsidion female produces groups of eggs enclosed together in a single capsules called o÷thecae. The o÷thecae sometime seen attached to the end of the female abdomen. O÷theca is a pale, soft egg-sac that hardens when exposed to air. The ovipositor valves serve as a mould that forms the o÷theca. Each egg is in a shell surrounded by an air space. The O÷theca is carried for some time before it is deposited. They are usually attached on leaves or stems.
  
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O÷theca  
 
In spring season, we found the above female cockroach with ootheca. There was another ootheca found near-by. We took the ootheca home and tens of small cockroaches hatched after one week. They were dark brown in colour with 1.5mm body length.
 
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Young nymph, body length 8mm 
 
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Young instars
 
We found that they grow very slowly, could be one generation per year. However, different stages of instars can be seen at the same of the year. Cockroaches develop in in-complete metamorphosis
 
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Moulting 
 
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Medium size instars
 
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Large instars  
 
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Last instars, body length 18mm
 
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Last Instars, body length 18mm                                                                                                        Last moulting
 
The above photos show the last instars stage nymph. The second picture shows it became an adult after last moulting. 
 
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The photos show the winged adult wandering in bush. Although most cockroaches are active at night, the Austral Ellipsidion Cockroaches forage on foliage of shrubs during the daytime. They run away very fast when disturbed. They can be found in our backyards and bushlands in Brisbane.   
However, the Austral Ellipsidion Cockroaches never found inside houses. They always look beautiful and clean. 
 
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Reference:
1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, Fig.19.8H,I.
2. Grasshopper Country - the Abundant Orthopteroid Insects of Australia, D Rentz, UNSW Press, 1996, plate365, p230.

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Up ] [ Austral Ellipsidion Cockroach ] Small Ellipsidion ] See-through Ellipsidion ] Beautiful Ellipsidion ] Balta Cockroach I ] Balta Cockroach II ] Balta Cockroach III ] Orange-brown Bush Cockroach ] Shelford's Cockroach ]

                                                

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Last updated: May 03, 2011.