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Blattella germanica

Basic information
Scientific name Blattella germanica

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Common names German cockroach
Higher taxon Blattellidae, Polyphagoidea, Blattodea
Natural range Africa.
Habitat Human hatibat, especially concrete buildings rather than wooden houses. This species is vulnerable to low temperature, and cannot overwinter without heating in Japan.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Amamioshima, and Okinawajima Is. Range in Japan
Origin Unknown.
Date Unknown. The first record in Hokkaido was in 1960.
Route Unknown. Possibly hitchhiking on ship and aircraft constantly. Hitchhiking on ships and aircraft of this species is most frequent among cockroaches.
Impact Harmful to human health. Feeding on various foods, carrying various pathogens, and dead bodies and feces are allergens.
Regulation in Japan Balatteridae is a Quarantine Pest (the Plant Protection Law).
Introduced range in other countries Worldwide
Reference Notes
  • Asahina (1991) Balattaria of Japan. Nakayama-Shoten, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Hitomi (1957) Cockroaches prevalent in oversea vessels with special reference to Balattela germanica L. Jpn J Sanit Zool. 8(3), 112-118 (in Jpn with English abst)
  • Ito et al. (eds.) (1977) Colored Illustrations of the Insect of Japan Vol. II. Hoikusha, Higashiosaka (in Jpn)
  • Ogata (1998) Globlization and PCO —Actual situations of pests invading japan. Pest Control Res. 13(2), 31-39.
  • Plant Protection Station (2011) The Plant Protection Act. Quarantine Pest List. (Accessed on 2012-4-25) (in Jpn)
  • Saito & Saito (1967) Notes on chromosomes of two species of cockroaches. Kontyû. 35(4), 337-342 (in Jpn)
  • Tomioka & Shibayama (1998) Distribution records on 12 species of cockroaches in Japan. House and Household Pests. 20(1), 10-16 (in Jpn)
  • etc.
100 of the Japan’s Worst Invasive Alien Species

In Japan, Blattella nipponica (endemic to central to southern Japan) and B. lituricollis (southeast and east Asia) had been misidentified as B. germanica until around 1960.