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name applied to some 4,600 species of flat-bodied, oval insectsinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
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 in the order Blattodea. Cockroaches have long antennae, long legs adapted to running, and a flat extension of the upper body wall that conceals the head. They range from 1-4 in. to 3 in. (.6–7.6 cm) in length. Some cockroaches have two pairs of well-developed wings, the front pair covering the hind pair when at rest; others have reduced wings or none at all. In some species only the wings of the female are reduced or absent. Many species are able to fly well, although the familiar household species do not fly. Most cockroaches are shiny brown or black, but bright yellows, reds, and greens occur in some tropical species.

Cockroaches are night-active insects and most live in damp places; most are omnivorous scavengers. They are worldwide in distribution but are most numerous in the tropics. Most species live in the wild in their native regions, e.g., the wood cockroaches, species of the genus Parcoblatta, found under forest litter in the NE United States.

A few tropical and subtropical species that have been introduced into the temperate zone have become residents in human homes, where they multiply rapidly and are serious pests. They invade food supplies and emit foul-smelling glandular secretions. Their shape enables them to use tiny cracks as hiding places. They are popularly believed to be carriers of human diseases, although this has not been proved.

Cockroaches reproduce sexually. Their eggs are encased in capsules called oothecae, which in some species remain attached to the abdomen of the female until the eggs hatch. In a few species the ootheca is retained within the body of the female and the young are born live. Young resemble the adults except in size.

The large, dark Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, is a cosmopolitan household species. The smaller German cockroach, or Croton bug, Blattella germanica, native to Europe, is the common urban cockroach of the NE United States. The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, is a large light-reddish species that invades houses in the S United States.

The group as a whole is extremely old; fossil evidence indicates its extreme abundance during the Carboniferous period, about 350 million years ago. These ancient cockroaches were able to fly and were probably the first flying animals. Cockroaches are classified in several families of the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Blattodea.


(invertebrate zoology)


any insect of the suborder Blattodea (or Blattaria), such as Blatta orientalis (oriental cockroach or black beetle): order Dictyoptera. They have an oval flattened body with long antennae and biting mouthparts and are common household pests
References in periodicals archive ?
The buzz started today when a passenger, reportedly sitting in airline's premium lounge, tweeted a picture of a plate containing food with a cockroach on it.
Lucanas said an adult Tagaloblatta kasaysayan is only about 5 millimeters long, or less than a fourth of the size of the common household cockroach (Periplaneta americana).
Pest control treatment was carried out but in March this year the presence of Oriental cockroaches, a large species of cockroach, were found and confirmed the presence of live insects.
He said: "An established cockroach infestation produces a lingering and unpleasant odour that taints items they contact.
Disease-Causing Bacteria: While the cockroach feeds, it regurgitates its own saliva unto that food, leaving behind germs and a certain bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause urinary tract infections and even sepsis.
If you haven't noticed native cockroach taxa, then it is time you did, and no excuses--you now have the perfect resource to guide you.
When officers revisited the cafe on April 14, 2014, they found the premises were clean and no further evidence of cockroach activity.
This practice has been largely unsuccessful and has led to increased frequency of pesticide application resulting in the use of large quantities of insecticide to increase cockroach kill (Benson & Zungoli 1997).
It could be a rare species of cockroach - or less possibly frog - that is not commonly found, but this is not a surprising thing; we see rare bird species every now and then but no one gets scared of them," he said.
You thought the unstoppable New York City cockroach of legend was bad enough?
A SHOCKED dad got more than he bargained for in his weekly shop when a tropical cockroach jumped out of a bag of bananas.