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American Cockroach adult
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: American Cockroach - adult
See also: larva | damage

Scientific Name: Dictyoptera: Periplaneta americana

Status: common pest in homes and buildings

Damaging Stage: nymph and adult

Biology: The American cockroach is a distinctive insect with an elliptical-shaped body and thick spines on the tibia. Adults are usually between 1 and 1 1/2 inches long and have long, thread-like antennae. They have a characteristic red-brown coloration and have a lighter yellowish border around the thorax.

Female cockroaches carry their eggs in cases (oothecae). White-brown nymphs hatch from the cases but develop a red-brown color, similar to the adults, over time. An immature cockroach can molt as many as thirteen times in one year. Wing pads start to develop in the third or fourth instar.