Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Genus Ectobius

What kind of Cockroach? - Ectobius pallidus Roach-like bug - Ectobius lapponicus Roach - Ectobius lapponicus cockroach - Ectobius lapponicus - male What is this?  - Ectobius pallidus Need Help Identifying  - Ectobius lapponicus Spotted Mediterranean Cockroach - Ectobius pallidus Cockroach - Ectobius pallidus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Blattodea (Cockroaches and Termites)
Superfamily Blaberoidea
Family Ectobiidae
Subfamily Ectobiinae
Genus Ectobius
Explanation of Names
Ectobius Stephens 1835
4 spp. in our area (all adventive), ~70 worldwide(1)
Separated from other similar-appearing cockroaches in e. North America by their smaller size, by the presence of conspicuous spines on the ventroposterior margin of the anterior femur, and by the presence of a well-developed intercalated triangle of the hindwing.(1)
Native to the Old World (mostly w. Eurasia), less common at northern latitudes
Abundant in European forests, moorlands, scrubby woodland margins, and rough grasslands, mostly on the ground under dead leaves, among bracken ferns, in grass and moss, on lower branches of small trees and shrubs, and also in coastal habitats (sea cliffs, sand dunes, beaches)(1)
Life Cycle
Species found in North America have a two year life cycle, with eggs and late instar nymphs overwintering.
E. pallidus: yellow pronotum surrounded by a translucent rim:

E. sylvestris: Dark red to black pronotum with transparent to cream rim:

E. lapponicus: Dark brown pronotum with translucent rim:

Ootheca with keel rotated 90 degrees:

In E. pallidus and E. sylvestris the ventral margin of the front femora have three longer spines (just visible at the middle of the front femur in the image above) followed by a row of much shorter spines (look like fuzz in this image). In E. lapponicus (image below) there are only two of the larger spines on specimens examined thus far in North America.
Internet References (photographic guide to European species, in German)
Works Cited
1.First North American record of Ectobius lucidus (Hagenbach) (Blattodea: Blattellidae: Ectobiinae)...
Hoebeke E.R., Carter M.E. 2010. Proc. Ent. Soc. Wash. 112: 229-238.