Cockroaches belong to the Order Blattodea.
What do cockroaches look like?
- 3 mm - 70 mm in length.
- Oval, flattened as if pressed from above.
- Segment behind head shield-like, overhanging body and often covering base of head.
- Appears hard.
- Thread-like, length variable.
- Large and well separated.
- Cave-dwelling cockroaches may have reduced or no eyes.
- For chewing or munching.
- Held downwards at rest.
- Two pairs if present.
- Forewings are hardened and cloudy.
- Hindwing membranous and clear.
- Both wings lack cross veins and are of similar size.
- At rest, wings are held flat to body, with forewings overlapping, and hindwing hidden.
- Six legs with many spines.
- Slender, designed for running.
- Two cerci (tails) never longer than the body and have one or more segments.
Where are cockroaches found?
- They are adaptable to most environments.
- The majority of Australian natives are found amongst leaf litter, under bark and rocks, and within rotting logs and crevices.
- Others live in trees or underground in burrows or caves.
- Introduced species are often found in the house.
What do cockroaches do?
- They often group together sometimes in large numbers, but are usually solitary.
- When disturbed they runaway, usually undercover and fast; rarely fly.
- They are weak fliers, usually flying in short bursts.
- Introduced species feed on plant or animal debris; native species primarily feed on plant debris.
- Most are active at night, however some do openly bask in sunlight.
What looks similar?
- Beetles can be distinguished from cockroaches by their hardened forewings. These forewings, or rather elytra, never overlap but meet in the middle. Beetles also never possess cerci.