Panesthia cribrata

Blaberidae  : Panesthiinae

A species that is a native of Australia, where it is found from Queensland south to Tasmania. It may have been in New Zealand for some time as it is known from Kerikeri and Auckland. A large population lives in an old pine forest in Kerikeri and it is also known from a garden centre in that town. However, the small pine forest and its rotting trees on the ground have been cleared away completely and replaced by housing (by late 2013).

It is a large roach; adults are 35-40 mm. The roach is gregarious and adults and juveniles congregate together in rotting logs, especially after the log has been "mined" by the larvae of the native huhu grub to form interconnecting channels within a relatively hard casing of the log's outer surface and bark. Although large and rather fat they run very quickly and disappear into the holes when a log is broken open. Adults are at first fully winged, but their "family" or co-inhabitants of the log will bite off those wings to leave only a very short stub.

Text updated: 10/05/2006