Cockroaches are insects that are best known as a major household pest, capable of carrying disease. However, there are about 4,500 species of cockroaches and only 30 are known as human pests! Cockroaches have flat round bodies, small heads and long antennas. Most species eat a variety of organic matter, and this is why some species are associated with kitchen/food preparation areas. The average size of a cockroach is much larger than many other types of insects, but most species are no larger than an average human thumbnail. Let’s find out which species of cockroach is the largest in the world.
What is the largest species of cockroach?
The heaviest cockroach is the giant burrowing cockroach (also known by its scientific name Macropanesthia rhinoceros and as the rhinoceros cockroach or litter bug), which can weigh in at an impressive 35 grams (1.2 oz). This cockroach is only found in Australia and prefers the warm tropical region of the Australian state of Queensland. It is not considered to be a human pest, but some people keep them as pets. This species is known for eating dead leaves and other matter in the forests. The giant burrowing cockroach grows to about 8 cm (3.1 in) long. This cockroach can live for about 10 years!
The longest cockroach is the Central American giant cockroach (scientific name: Blaberus giganteus), and the female members of this species are capable of growing to 10 cm (3.9 in). This species is also at home in tropical forests, and is found throughout Central America and the northern parts of South America. It also eats decaying plant matter and other decaying items it finds in the forests. This species is not regarded as a human pest. The Central American giant cockroach can live for up to 20 years!