What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

nocturnal brown flying insect
July 21, 2009
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I hopelessly freaked out by bugs! Just last night, I saw a few of these bugs flying around my backyard. When they land they scurry around quickly like cockroaches but then take flight. The one photographed drowned in my waterfountain (oopsie). Can you please tell me what it is?
Buggin’ out
Fontana, CA (So. Cal)

American Cockroach

Wood Cockroach

Dear Buggin’ out,
These are American Cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, which is something of a misnomer since according to BugGuide:  “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.”
BugGuide also has this to report:  “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. 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.”

American Cockroach

Wood Cockroach

Correction:  Wood Cockroach
March 14, 2010
This is not the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), but rather a male of the native wood cockroach (Parcoblatta; most likely P. americana.) They are not pests, and cannot live inside houses.
Piotr Naskrecki

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Wood Cockroach: Drowned in the Fountain

  1. Piotr Naskrecki says:

    This is not the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), but rather a male of the native wood cockroach (Parcoblatta; most likely P. americana.) They are not pests, and cannot live inside houses.

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