Study of scavengers bio-indicator of cork oak health, Loboptera decipiens (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae): Bio-ecology of cockroach in the litter


Abstract: Although numerous works were treating the way of life and the behavior of forest insects, little were dedicated to the cockroaches, in particular to Loboptera decipiens which remains at the moment a slightly known species. L. decipiens is a forest cockroach, recognized by brilliant black color with a white border around the body in adult age. It constitutes a link mattering in the forest food chain. We studied the distribution of L. decipiens in cork oak forest North Eastern Algeria by regular harvests of a series of square 1m2 surfaces. L. decipiens is present in all sites surveyed, it abounds in the forests of cork oak of coasts (cork forests of the National Park of El Kala “PNEK” – Tarf) and mountains (cork forests of Edough to Seraidi – Annaba) while the cockroach populations are less important (low density) in the forests of Ouled Bechih to Machrouha – Souk Ahras. Environment and food behavior of L. decipiens are badly known. The physicochemical analysis of cork oak litter shows that this insect participates actively in the ground primary decomposition. Attractiveness was determined thanks to olfactometric tests; the results show that L. decipiens is strongly attracted by fresh leaves’ extracts of cork oak realized in hexane and in dichloromethane solvents.

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