Death's head cockroach climbing over a leaf

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are among the hardiest insects on the planet. They are capable of surviving for long periods on meagre resources and can even tolerate high doses of radiation. They are also extremely adaptable to new environments and will eat almost anything. Some species can produce over 20,000 young in their lifetime.

Considering their bad reputation, it may come as a surprise that only a handful of the 4,000 species of cockroach are considered common household pests. These ancient, primitive insects are most common where the climate is warm and humid. Famous for their hissing, cockroaches can reach an impressive nine centimetres in length, although most species are much smaller.

Scientific name: Blattodea

Rank: Order

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Distribution

The Cockroaches can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, Russia, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

BBC News about Cockroaches