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Three New Species of Cockroaches Found in China

Mar 01, 2013 07:45 AM EST
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Researchers have discovered three new species of cockroaches belonging to the Pseudophoraspism genus in China. 

Cockroaches are a diverse group of insects, with more than 4,500 species found across the globe. They belong to the family of Blaberidae, known also as giant cockroaches. Fossil records of cockroaches date back to 400 million years, which give evidence that the insects are among the planet's greatest survivors.

The three new species - Pseudophoraspis clavellata, Pseudophoraspis recurvata and Pseudophoraspis incurvata - are the first under the genus Pseudophoraspism to be found in China. They are some of the smallest members of the family, with the adult growing slightly more than an inch (3 centimeters) in length, when compared with the females of the largest species known, Blaberus giganteus, which can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length.

Another example is that of Macropanesthia rhinoceros, also known as the rhinoceros cockroach, which can grow up to around 3 inches (8 cm) in length, and weigh a remarkable 35 grams.

Until now, species belonging to the genus Pseudophoraspis have been reported from Southeast Asia, never north of Vietnam, reports LiveScience.

The three new species were discovered in China's Hainan, Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces respectively, which expands the reach of the genus Pseudophoraspis northward.

"All of the known species were reported from Southeast Asia and South Asia, and the previously known boundary of this genus would be Vietnam. We found three new species from China, located in Hainan, Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces respectively, which extends the range of the genus Pseudophoraspis northward," study author Dr. Zongqing Wang, from Southwest University, China, said in a statement.

The findings of the study are published in the journal ZooKeys. 

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