The American Cockroach Insect, Periplaneta americana, is also known as the waterbug because of its preference for living in damp places such as water pipes and sewage systems It is thought to have been introduced to the United States from Africa as early as 1625 and has spread across the world by crawling into grocery packages and being transported to new locations. Body length 1.5-2 inches (3.8-5 cm).
Cockroach Insect Facts:
- Common name: Cockroaches
- Order: Blattodea
- Class: Insecta
- Subphylum: Hexapoda
- Number of species: Around 4,000 (over 50 US.)
- Size: From about 0.15 in (4 mm) to 4.8 in (12 cm)
Key features: Body tends to be rather flattened, head with well- developed compound eyes (except cave dwellers), long, thin antennae with many segments, and chewing mouthparts pronotum usually forms a shield over the thorax and may extend forward to cover the top of the head; forewings toughened, covering the membranous hind wings; wings may be absent, especially in females; 1 pair of cerci on the end of the abdomen; nymphs resemble wingless adults
Habits: Many species are nocturnal, while some come out in the day and feed from flowers
Breeding: Mating may be preceded by courtship; stridulation (hissing) is known to occur in some species; eggs laid in a special purselike structure, the ootheca; parental care is known for a number of species
Diet: scavengers, many species will eat almost anything edible that they come across
Habitat: Grassland, forests, deserts, sand dunes caves, and human habitations
Distribution: Worldwide, but most species found in the tropics.