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Insecta (Previously in Orthoptera)







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Also See: <Orthoptera Details>


There are four common cockroach species, which have been considered more or less domesticated. These are Blatella germanica (German cockroach), Blatta orientalis L. (oriental cockroach), Periplaneta americana L. (American cockroach), Periplaneta australasiae Fab. (Australian cockroach) and Supella subpellectilium Serv. (brown-banded cockroach).




The following key should facilitate separation of these species:

[Also see: Orthoptera Details]



Blatta orientalis

1. The male tegmina does not extend to the end of the abdomen and covers only 2/3rds of it. In

the female the tegmina occurs as small pads. A small species about 1-inch long, almost black

and with any special markings (Fig. 1)



The tegmina in both sexes extends beyond the length of the abdomen. In case it does not cover the abdomen it is marked by two light-colored bands located at the wing base and the other about 1/3rd the length from the base.



2. The specimen is usually not more than 1/2 inch long



The length is more than 1 inch


Blatella germanica

3. Specimen is pale brown with two parallel dark stripes on the pronotum (Fig. 1)


Supella subpellectilium

The color is dark brown with two pale bands near the tegmina base, one at the base and another

1/3rd of the length from the base


Periplaneta americana

4. The thorax is yellow with two medium brown markings. Tegmina lacks a yellow submarginal

stripe along its basal third. The length varies from 1.5 to 2 inches (Fig. 1)


Periplaneta australasiae

The thorax is yellow and has two central black spots along its base. The tegmina has a light yellow

submarginal stripe along its basal 1/3rd. The length is usually one inch.




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Key References: <medvet.ref.htm> <Hexapoda>


Eigderi, R. M., K. S. ghenghesh & N. Berbrash. 2006. Carriage by the German cockroach (Blatella germanica) of multiple-antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are

potentially pathogenic to humans, in hospitals and households in Tripoli, Libya. Ann. trop. Med. & Parasitol. 100: 55-62.

Gore, J. C. & C. Schal. 2007. Cockroach allergen biology and mitigation in the indoor environment. Ann. Rev. Ent. 52: 439-63.

Laing, F. 1938. The cockroach. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Econ. Ser. 12.

Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.

Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p

Legner, E. F. 1995. Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance. J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59-120.

Legner, E. F. 2000. Biological control of aquatic Diptera. p. 847-870. Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera,

Vol. 1, Science Herald, Budapest. 978 p.

Pai, H. H., W. C. Chen & C. E. Peng. 2005. Isolation of bacteria with antibiotic resistance from household cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Blatella

germanica).Acta Tropica 93: 259-265.

Rust, M. K., D. A. Reierson & K. H. Hangsen. 1991. Control of American cockroaches (Dictyoptera: Blattidae) in sewers. J. Med. Ent. 28. 210-13

Stelmach, I., J. Jerzynska, W. Stelmach et al. 2002. Cockroach allergy exposure to cockroach allergen in Polish children with asthma. Allergy 57: 701-705.