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Diurnal Activity in the Dusky Cockroach, Ectobius lapponicus L. (Blattodea)

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The activity of the cockroach Ectobius lapponicus was found to differ in males and females in the field, the males being active during the afternoon, the females after sunset. The difference was thought to be due to an inhibition by low temperatures in the males, displacing the activity towards an earlier period of the day. This is in accordance with a theory concerning sensitization, and different thresholds of release dependent on light and temperature as established for the stridulation in Orthoptera Ensifera and the locomotion in a domestic cockroach. A relationship between the amount of activity and the relative humidity was found in the nymphs. Laboratory experiments showed that the activity at constant temperature was released by a change from light to darkness. If low temperatures were applied during the dark period, the activity was displaced to the latter half of the light period. The influence of illumination on the activity was investigated, a faint illumination being more favourable than total darkness.

Affiliations: 1: Zoological Laboratory, Universitetsparken I5, 2I00 Copenhagen, Denmark


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