Skip Navigation LinksHome » Species » Ruspolia nitidula » Periplaneta americana

Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus, 1758)

American or Ship Cockroach

Taxonomy: Dictyoptera>>Blattodea>>Blattidae

Status: British Isles non-native species.

Description: Large and fully winged. When threatened, it can produce a foul-smelling secretion from glands in its abdomen.

Size: Up to 30 mm.

Wings: Both sexes are fully winged and fly well in warm conditions.

Food: Omnivorous, feeding on refuse and anything edible that is not too dry and hard.

Habitat: Despite its name, the species is native to Africa. It may have been introduced to Europe with sugarcane from Cuba. In Britain it occurs on ships, in warehouses and glasshouses, especially around sea ports. Rarely in residential houses.

Phenology: Indoors adults may be seen all year round.

Distribution: The records held by the National Biodiversity Network are shown in the map below.
Terms & conditions

Powered by the NBN Gateway

Colours show the year of the last record -

up to 1987


1998 up to present

Only Recording Scheme datasets are included. Other datasets on the Gateway may hold additional information.

Open interactive map for all datasets in new window