Identifier

etd-05162016-114951

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Entomology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The state of Louisiana has both temperate and subtropical climates and includes six ecoregions. Two ecoregions in south-central Louisiana were surveyed for members of the order Blattodea to better describe the diversity, life histories, and taxonomy of adult and nymphal cockroaches. Blattodea, excluding the newly included epifamily Termitoidae, is an understudied order of insects in spite of the importance species that are infamous peridomestic pest. The order Blattodea currently contains 9 families comprising of 460 genera. There are approximately 7570 described species 4641 of which are cockroaches and 2929 are termites. Complete information on life histories lacks for the majority of species. Survey methods used included hanging Malaise traps, pitfall traps, mercury vapor light traps, and hand collecting. These methods were utilized monthly, spring through fall, with the first collections being made during summer 2014. To date, 505 field-collected specimens representing 16 species have been identified. These along with specimens examined from the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum have been used to redescribe 17 species based on out of date descriptions and create a key to adult males, adult females, and nymphs of all cockroach species in Louisiana. Significant findings include an expanded parish distribution of Euthlastoblatta gemma (Hebard), which had previously been recorded only from Orleans Parish, and detailed documentation of the life cycles of species viewed in the field and reared in the lab. This research on Louisiana cockroaches will contribute to the global knowledge of the diversity and life history of Blattodea that is increasingly utilized as model organisms in biomechanical engineering, insect physiology, and morphology.

Date

2016

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Carlton, Chris

Included in

Entomology Commons

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