Oothecae of these cockroaches have a distinct keel, which is often strongly toothed, such as in Polyphaga aegyptiaca. There is usually a flange or short extension at the anterior end of the ootheca, by which it is held in the female's genitalia. In some species, including P. aegyptiaca, the ootheca is held in the original position and not turned after it is formed. Spines may be absent on the anterior and posterior margins of the mid and hind femora. Sternum 7 of the female is sometimes bivalvular. Polyphaga species are distributed nearly worldwide in shipments of vegetables. In the continental USA, they occur primarily in the southwestern states and in Florida. None of the species that occur in Central and North America are household pests. In northern Africa and southern Asia, a few species, such as P. aegyptiaca and P. saussurei, are occasionally peridomestic or domestic pests.

Mediterranean cockroach, Polyphaga aegyptiaca Adult males are 25-32 mm long and females are 25-34 mm long and wingless. The female is blackish brown and the male is dark brown. Wings are light brown and broadly rounded at the distal end; wing veins are prominent. Antennae are shorter than the body; the pronotum has a pale brown anterior margin in both sexes. Cerci are short and unsegmented in the female. The ootheca is about 12 mm long and pointed at one end, and there is a row of12-14 teeth along the keel. The ootheca contains 7-13 eggs. This species is distributed in the region surrounding the Mediterranean sea and eastward to Iran and the Caspian sea. It is an occasional indoor pest.

South Asian cockroach, Polyphaga saussurei Adult males are 32-37 mm long and females are 35-44 mm long; the body of both sexes is strongly convex. Males are uniformly dark brown and the antennae and cerci are short. Wings are light brown and extend beyond the tip of the abdomen; wings are broadly rounded at distal end. Females are dark brown and wingless. Adults mate 10-14 days after maturation. The ootheca is 12-20 mm long and contains 34-36 eggs; it is held internally during the incubation period of about 60 days. Nymph development is 121-150 days at 30-36 °C, but under lower temperatures it is extended to 7-18 months. Adults live 2.5 years in laboratory conditions. Parthenogenesis has been reported for this cockroach. During courtship the male stands near the female and rapidly moves his body up and down. In some instances the male raises the anterior portion of his body and strikes his abdomen against the substrate to produce a prolonged tapping sound. Adults give off an offensive odor when disturbed. It is distributed in central Asia, from the Caspian sea eastward through Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan. Other locations include Afghanistan, Iran, and India.

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