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Species Periplaneta americana - American Cockroach

American Cockroach - Periplaneta americana Roach - Periplaneta americana Big Cockroach - Periplaneta americana Lost and Found - Periplaneta americana BG2887 E3787 - Periplaneta americana - male Is this a roach? - Periplaneta americana Florida Wood Cockroach? - Periplaneta americana Insect - Periplaneta americana
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Blattodea (Cockroaches and Termites)
Superfamily Blattoidea
Family Blattidae
Genus Periplaneta
Species americana (American Cockroach)
Other Common Names
Palmetto Bug
38 mm.
The four species of Periplaneta cockroaches found in the US are easily confused. See the distinguishing characteristics of these species on the Periplaneta page.

Adults have wings and will occasionally fly. However, they are awkward fliers and prefer to run when disturbed. Males and females are about the same size and look very similar. Both have a pair of cerci, finger-like appendages, at the tips of their abdomens. The cerci are used to detect air currents in the cockroach's surroundings. In American cockroaches, the cerci are long and tapered which helps to distinguish it from other Periplaneta species.

Male cockroaches have an additional set of appendages called styli on their abdomens. The styli are located between the cerci but are smaller and more delicate. The presence of styli is the easiest way to distinguish male from female cockroaches.

Immature American cockroaches resemble adults, except they are wingless.

The American cockroach egg capsules are mahogany brown and about 1/3 inch long.
They are significant pests throughout the world. They are not native to the Americas at all. They come from tropical Africa. They were probably transported to the Americas on slave ships.