Bennelongia’s resident taxonomic powerhouse Jane McRae, former Bennelongia principle scientist Dr Andrew Trotter and senior ecologist Dean Main and geneticist Dr Terrie Finston have co-authored a paper describing three new species of troglobitic cockroach of the genus Nocticola from the Pilbara. Troglobitic cockroaches in WA are understudied, with only a handful of cave species having been described. They exhibit morphological adaptations typical of most troglofaunal animals (loss of wings and eyes, depigmentation, elongate sensory appendages). This is a big step forward for cockroaches in WA, documenting the varying troglomorphies of this understudied group. Here are the figures from the paper:
The next step of this project will be the descriptions of troglofaunal cockroaches from the Kimberley, WA. If you’ve completed a troglofauna survey and have some cockroaches that might be troglofaunal please send them our way, we’d be very interested to continue working on this group.