A biology student at the University of Sydney in Australia has suddenly discovered a giant cockroach belonging to the wood-eating cockroach Panesthia lata that seems to have been extinct since the 1930s.
This large wingless wood-eating cockroach, scientifically known as Panesthia lata, was discovered by Maxim Adams under the rocks under a tree in the city of North Bay, on Lord Howe Island, Australia.
Maxim Adams and Nicholas Carlile under the banyan tree where they suddenly discovered this cockroach.
The survival of this cockroach is great news for the scientific community, as it has been more than 80 years since it was last seen. They were thought to be extinct.
These wood-eating cockroaches once lived all over Lord Howe Island, but they began to disappear after the arrival of rats on the island in 1918.
Lord Howe Island official Atticus Fleming said: ‘It’s amazing that this species is still alive as it has been more than 80 years since they were last seen.
“Lord Howe Island is truly an amazing place, it’s home to 1,600 species of native invertebrates, half of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world,” he said more.
The cockroach Panesthia lata has a length of 22-40 mm, with a reddish or black body, iridescent like metal.
Australia is home to 11 species of Panesthia wood cockroaches. This insect burrows in the mountains and feeds on rotting logs in the forests of the north and east coasts of Australia. In their intestines are microorganisms that help digest the cellulose in the wood.
According to scientists, wood-eating cockroaches are important for maintaining a balanced ecosystem on the island because they help accelerate the decomposition of decayed wood and are also a source of food for other animals.