Blaberus giganteus is also known as the Mexican, the Brazilian, Central American giant cave cockroach, or simply the giant flying cockroach.
This cockroach is among the top five biggest cockroaches found in the world and is second only to Megaloblatta Longipennis. The physical appearance and color of Blaberus giganteus make it a unique and beautiful roach.
Blaberus Giganteus, or the giant flying cockroach, is a 3 to 3.9 inches long flat oval roach with a golden brown color and black spots on the head and body.
The cockroach has long wings spanning 6 inches, making them good flyers though females are less likely to fly.
Blaberus giganteus is native to rainforests located in Panama, Mexico, and Colombia and is also found in Central and North America.
The bigger the cockroach, the less likely it is to infest homes. Therefore, an infestation with Blaberus giganteus is very rare.
However, although less likely, like other roaches, the Mexican cockroach still poses a threat to humans in terms of disease spread and triggering allergies.
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Appearance and Identification Points of the Blaberus Giganteus
As the name suggests, Blaberus giganteus is one of the giant insects. But, unlike other roaches, the appearance of this central American giant cave cockroach makes it peculiar.
Blaberus giganteus is a long flat roach with a circular or oval body. The Mexican cockroach is golden brown with black markings on the body. The head plate has a circular dark spot similar to Death’s head cockroach.
The giant flying cockroach has two small antennas smaller than the body. They have prominent cerci, and the male has a more prominent stylus.
The male Mexican cockroach measures 3 inches (7.62 cm) in length and 0.95 inches (2.41 cm) in width.
The female Mexican cockroach measures 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) in length and 1 inch (2.54 cm) in width.
Blaberus giganteus have two pairs of long wings spaning 6 inches (15.24 cm). The wings are larger than the body in both male and female roaches.
Both male and female Blaberus giganteus are good flyers, but the heaver pregnant females are less likely to fly.
The Mexican cockroach does not bite humans or other organisms; however, allergy to the exoskeleton in atopic individuals is common.
Blaberus giganteus or the giant cockroach can easily be differentiated and identified from other peers by,
- The striking large size of the body makes it unique from other roaches.
- The circular mark on the head
Additional Read: Why Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices Does not Work on Roaches?
Distribution and Habitat of the Mexican Cockroach
Mexican cockroach is native to rain forests that stretch from Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador to French Guiana.
They are also found in the US in the northern parts, such as Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, and Central America.
Blaberus giganteus is a species outdoors and prefers to live in a dark shady green environment with a lot of moisture. However, they also live inside caves and under shady rocks. That’s why they are also named the central American giant cave cockroach.
Mexican Roach: Diet and Life Cycle
Like other roaches, the giant flying cockroach is omnivorous and feeds on anything organic, from plant leaves to rotting fruits and vegetables. However, in the wild, these roaches eat bat guano and the flesh of dead animals. Therefore, these roaches play a profound role in fixing the nitrogen cycle.
Because people keep the giant cave cockroach as a pet, a well-balanced diet in the form of pulses, legumes, meat, and veggies must be given to keep them healthy.
Once A female Blaberus giganteus cockroach mates, she produces an ootheca or the egg capsules containing 15 individual eggs. She keeps producing eggs for the rest of her life every 30 days.
Nymphs undergo six to eight molting stages, taking approximately six months to reach adulthood.
Adult females have a longer life span than adult male Mexican roaches by up to 3 months. The average life span of the giant cave cockroach is approximately 20 to 23 months.
Read this exciting article, Bugs That Look Like Cockroaches, to know more about it.
Blaberus Giganteus is the real Giant Flying Cockroach
Almost all cockroaches are equipped with two wings, but very few are good flyers. This is because most roaches have small wingspans than their body size and weight.
Surprisingly, the Blaberus giganteus has a large body, can weigh between 20 to 25 grams, and has large wings. This makes the Blaberus giganteus the real giant flying cockroach.
On the other hand, other cockroaches in their league, like the Giant Burrowing cockroach or the Madagascar Hissing cockroach, can’t fly.
Blaberus giganteus can fly up to 5 meters in a single go, making them excellent flyers. However, it should be kept in mind that female cockroaches are sometimes so massive that they rarely fly.