Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana

Other Common Names: Palmetto Bug, Waterbug

Species documented in 1758 by Linnaeus.


The large winged American Cockroach can grow to a length of 4cm. They have a flattened oval shape body and spiny legs.

From birth to death, these cockroaches are able to live for up to 2 to 3 years.

Female cockroaches deposit eggs in an oothecae, usually close to a source of food. The capsules (oothecae) are formed each week until approximately 6 to 14 have been deposited. Eggs take around 5 to 7 weeks to hatch.

They prefer damp conditions, and prefer warmer climates. This species will live inside houses where they are considered a pest.


Scavenging on most food sources. This species is also reported to feed on books or clothing. Here you can read more about the Australian Cockroach.


This species of cockroach was introduced to Australia from an unknown location (Australian Faunal Directory, 2007).

Found in:



CSIRO, 2006. Periplaneta americana, CSIRO. Available from: <> [Accessed 19th January 2007]

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Government. Available from: < bin/abrs/fauna/;pstrTaxa=938;pstrChecklistMode=2> [Accessed 19th January 2007]

Road, Kenny. 1991. American Cockroach, Ohio State University. Available from: <> [Accessed 19th January 2007]