Learn about all the types of cockroaches. This complete guide covers every order and family of this very large group of cockroaches, which also includes termites and mantids. Full list by order and family. Plus list of the most common cockroach species.
If you’re like most people, you probably imagine that there is just a single type of cockroach. The Cockroach. There are actually thousands of types of cockroaches.
How many types of cockroaches are there? There are over 4,600 species of cockroaches in more than 460 genera. They range in size from the tiny German cockroach (about 1/2″) to the giant Megaloblatta longipennis at 3.8″ (9.7 cm) in length.
This article is part of our huge set of information about cockroaches.
38 Cockroach Species List
Here are some of the best-known cockroaches from around the planet. Have an addition to the list? Please share it in the comments!
- Albino Cockroach
- American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
- Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
- Australian Rhinoceros Cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros)
- Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
- Botany Bay cockroach (Polyzosteria limbata)
- Brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
- Cape mountain cockroach (Aptera fusca)
- Central American Giant Cockroach (Blaberus giganteus)
- Cinereous (Lobster) Cockroach
- Common shining cockroach (Drymaplaneta communis)
- Cuban Cockroach
- Death Head Cockroach (Blaberus craniifer)
- Domino cockroach (Therea petiveriana) Also known as the desert cockroach, Indian domino, or seven-spotted cockroach.
- Dubia Cockroach (Blaptica dubia)
- Dwarf cave cockroach: (Blaberus atropos) (Blaberus fusca)
- False death’s head cockroach: (Blaberus discoidalis)
- Field Cockroach (Blattella vaga)
- Florida Woods Cockroach (Eurycotis floridana) Also known as palmetto bug.
- Flying Cockroach
- German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
- Giant burrowing cockroach: (Macropanesthia rhinoceros)
- Ghost Porcelain Cockroach (Gyna caffrorum) Also known as chrome cockroaches.
- Green banana cockroach: (Panchlora nivea)
- Green Cockroach
- Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa). Also known as the hissing cockroach or hisser.
- Madeira Cockroach
- Megaloblatta longipennis World’s largest cockroach.
- Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
- Pacific Beetle Cockroach
- Pale-Bordered Field Cockroach
- Pennsylvania woods cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica)
- Sand Cockroach
- Speckled cockroach: (Nauphoeta cinerea)
- Surinam Cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis) Also known as the greenhouse cockroach.
- Three-lined Cockroach (Luridiblatta trivittata)
- Turkestan Cockroach (Blattidae lateralis)
- Woods Cockroach
How to Identify Types of Cockroaches
Here is a short video that shows the differences between four common types of cockroaches.
Cockroach Types and Taxonomy
Cockroaches belong to Dictyoptera, a Superorder that includes mantids and termites.
And they belong to Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, and Order Blattodea.
Over the years, five similar terms have been used in relation to cockroach taxonomy.
These all have their origin in the Latin blatta, meaning “an insect that shuns the light”. It has been applied to both roaches and mantids.
Here is what each of these five terms means.
- Blattaria: “True” cockroaches
- Blattidae: (Family) Cockroaches, includes the most common household cockroaches (Oriental, Florida woods, American, and Turkestan).
- Blattodea: (Order) Cockroaches and termites
- Blattoidea: (Superfamily) Superfamily of cockroaches and termites in the family Blattodea. Includes more than 17 families and more than 4,100 described species.
- Blattoptera: Extinct cockroaches
As you’ll notice in the list of cockroach species below, the scientific name of many includes the Latin blatta.
Cockroach Orders and Families
Here’s the taxonomy for all types of cockroaches, including termites and mantids.
Termitoidea (termites) Isoptera
- Termitidae: Higher termites
- Rhinotermitidae: These 345 species feed on wood and wooden structures causing damage.
- Kalotermitidae: These 419 species are known as drywood termites.
- Archotermopsidae: Dampwood termites, from 13 to 20 species.
- Hodotermitidae: Harvester termites
- Mastotermitidae: This family consists of just one species, the Mastotermes darwiniensis.
- Cryptocercidae has just one genus, Cryptocercus. Some of the 12 known species are known as brown-hooded cockroaches and wood roaches.
- Blattidae. This family includes the most common household cockroaches. These include Oriental, American, and Florida woods cockroaches)
- Blaberidae: Giant cockroaches. This is the second-largest roach family by the number of species. Species include Cape mountain, death’s head, green banana, and Madagascar hissing cockroach.
- Ectobiidae: Sometimes called wood cockroaches. Species include German, Asian, brown-banded, and Virginia wood cockroaches.
- Corydiidae: Sand cockroaches, etc
- Nocticolidae: Cave cockroaches, etc. Includes just 32 known species.
Mantodea (mantises) Order
This order includes 2400 species in 460 genera.
4 Most Common Types of Cockroaches
1. American Cockroaches
These are the largest common cockroaches in the United States, growing up to three inches.
They have long legs and antennae and a flat, oval-shaped body. In the nymph stage (baby cockroaches), they have rounder bodies.
They like moist, shady areas when outdoors. Inside, you likely find them near areas like steam pipes and wet basements.
2. German Cockroaches
These are the pests that often invade family homes. They have very long antennae, and their wings narrow at the ends. The nymphs are dark brown or black, and the adults are a red-brown color.
German cockroaches are small, just 0.43 to 0.63″ (1.1 to 1.6 cm).
These are the roaches who need humans to survive. Research shows that they do not live without human presence for food, water, and shelter.
3. Oriental Cockroaches
These roaches are often confused with water bugs because they like cool, dark, damp places. You’ll find these guys under sinks and washing machines if they invade your home.
They are the smallest common cockroach, growing less than an inch in length. On average, an Oriental cockroach will have dark brown or black, shiny bodies.
Oriental cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter. They will likely invade your garbage when foraging for food.
4. Florida Woods Cockroach (Palmetto Bug)
This large cockroach is 1.2 to 1.6″ long (3-4 cm). It can be found in the southern United States (Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and North Carolina), the West Indies, and parts of Canada.
Residents of Florida and South Carolina will recognize the Palmetto bug. They jokingly call it their state bird in South Carolina.
It got its name from hiding under palmetto leaves. These bugs prefer the outdoors and only wander inside by accident.
Palmettos travel alone while seeing an American or German roach means many more are nearby. Palmetto bugs flutter their wings when they fly and make a clicking noise.
Here’s how to get rid of palmetto bugs.
Common Questions About Cockroaches
- Why Do Cockroaches Exist? 10 Purposes Roaches Serve
- How Fast are a Cockroach? 2 Speeds, Compared to Other Insects
- What Eats Cockroaches? (18 Predators) Spiders, Birds, Mammals, Frogs
- How Long Do Cockroaches Live? 4 Types Lifespan, Life Cycle
- How Long Can a Cockroach Live Without Food & Water? 5 Factors
- What Temperature Kills Roaches & Cockroach Eggs (Heat and Cold)
Have a question about cockroaches? Or maybe a fact to share? Join me below!
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.
He also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Click Like This. Bryan is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company he runs with his wife, Dena.