Cockroaches are most often though of as infecting human homes but a new species and a new subspecies discovered in China prefer to live a hermit life, drilling logs far away from crowds and houses. 

It's more common than we think. Out of around 4,600 species of cockroaches worldwide, only 30 are the cockroaches associated with human habitats that gives the bad fame of these creatures. The representatives of the genus Panesthia, to which the new species and subspecies belong, for example are distinctive for drilling logs and xylophagy (feeding on wood), rather than living in houses and eating rubbish.

The new species, P. guizhouensis, was firstly collected from a rotten wood log near a large pool where it was living undisturbed, far away from cities in Guizhou Province. A colony of more than 60 nymphs and 52 adults, emerged from the log when the wood was split, quickly fleeing away. 

This image shows Panesthia angustipennis cognata Bey-Bienko, 1969. Credit: Yanli Che

Up to now, 55 species and 9 subspecies have been reported in this genus but because of their secluded lifestyle, these cockroaches are still mysterious to scientists, and their study had been nearly stagnated since 1999.

"With this new discovery, we hope to reignite the scientific interest towards this peculiar and rather intriguing cockroach genus." comments Dr Yanli Che, Southwest University, China.

 Published in ZooKeys.
Source: Pensoft Publishers