There are approximately 4500 species of cockroaches worldwide. The US alone houses at least 85 different types of roaches.
Most roaches, including palmetto bugs, have a size ranging between 1 to 2 inches in length. But interestingly, the largest cockroaches are found in the wild, and they are too big to believe.
Larger Than Guinness World Records!
The world’s biggest cockroach ever seen is a Megaloblatta longipennis measuring 4.5 inches in length and with an estimated wingspan of 8.6 Inches reported by a Facebook user Locutor O. Paniagua on September 4, 2020.
It belongs to the family Ectobiidae. Megaloblatta is found in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and many other countries.
Megaloblatta is a genus of cockroaches in the family Ectobiidae. It includes the largest living species of cockroach, Megaloblatta longipennis, which can grow to 11.5 centimetres (4.5 in) in length and have a wingspan of up to 22 centimetres (8.6 in).
Some of the biggest roaches are found in South American countries, including Peru and Ecuador. Surprisingly, the largest cockroach belongs to the family Ectobiidae.
The Ectobiidae constitute other small roaches as well, including German cockroaches. I have been fascinated by giant roaches and have gathered information and fun facts about them that I will be sharing in the blog below.
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Top 6 Biggest cockroaches in the world
Some roaches are so big that they are often confused with giant Water bugs, which usually measure up to 3.9 inches. Most of the biggest roaches are found outside the United States except the American cockroach, which measures 2.1 inches.
The biggest cockroach in the world is not necessarily the most infectious. For example, German roaches measure only 0.5 inches in size but are the most infectious to homes.
The top 6 biggest roaches are,
1. Megaloblatta Longipennis
The biggest Megaloblatta ever recorded measures 4.5 inches in length, and an estimated wingspan of 8.6 Inches was reported by a Facebook user Locutor O. Paniagua on September 4, 2020. This is the world’s largest cockroach ever found.
Megaloblatta is a combination of Greek and Latin words Megalo means giant, and Blatta means an insect reflecting light. This roach belongs to the family Ectobiidae and is found in many countries, including Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Megaloblatta is the largest cockroach species.
Megaloblatta is dark brown to black in color and lives in the wild, and never infests homes. This cockroach is omnivorous and usually feeds on green leaves.
The roach has the capability to fly but rarely does so.
Megaloblatta is most active during late summer when it’s warm and humid. The life cycle is similar to other roaches.
Fun Fact about Megaloblatta
- The biggest cockroach reported by Guiness World Records is smaller than the one reported by Locutor O. Paniagua on Facebook. Our blog is the first to spread the news.
Do you know that some people have an extreme fear of roaches called Katsaridaphobia? Read this interesting article to know more about it.
2. Blaberus Giganteus
Blaberus giganteus measures between 3 to 3.9 inches long and 0.95 inches wide. It has a wingspan of 6 inches. The female Blabaerus giganteus is usually larger than the male cockroach by up to 0.75 inches on average.
The Blaberus giganteus is also known as the Mexican, the Brazilian, Central American giant cave cockroach, or simply the giant flying cockroach.
The Blaberus giganteus has large wings that make it a good flyer though females usually fly less. 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.
Fun fact about Blaberus giganteus
- Bleberus giganteus, or the giant flying cockroach, has a beautiful color making it an ideal pet cockroach
3. Giant Burrowing Cockroach
Giant Burrowing Cockroach measures 3.5 inches or 8.89 cm in length.
The Giant Burrowing Cockroach is also known as rhinoceros because of its weight. This roach is the heaviest of all, weighing up to 30 grams. The roach belongs to the family Blaberidae and is native to Southern Australia and Queens Land.
Giant Burrowing Cockroach is light brown and lacks wings. Hence, they can not fly.
As the name suggests, these roaches love to live inside burrows and never infest homes. They are omnivorous but usually feed on rotting leaves and plants.
Giant Burrowing Cockroach is most active during the rainy season around dusk. The life cycle is similar to other roaches with distinctive nymphal stages.
Fun Fact about Giant Burrowing Cockroach
- The cockroach digs the earth with his front legs, resembling a puppy.
4. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach measures 3 inches (7.62 cm) long and 1 inch (2.54 cm) wide. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is also the world’s most beautiful cockroach with vibrant black and tan colors.
As the name suggests, these roaches are native to Madagascar Island in Africa and produce a sharp hissing sound. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach belongs to the family Blabiridae.
Madagascar cockroach is tan in color with multiple strips on the back, resembling a staircase.
These roaches are most active at night when they mate, fight and feed. These roaches are species of the wild and rarely infest homes. In the lowland tropical forest of Madagascar, these roaches feed on fallen leaves and fruits and help decompose the soil, hence also referred to as living fossils.
Fun Facts about Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
- The female gives birth to Live babies, unlike other roaches which lay eggs.
- People from Madagascar keep these roaches as pests.
- People make the male roaches fight and bet on them.
Click the link if you want to hear roaches’ noise.
5. American Cockroach
American Cockroach measures 2.1 inches (5.4 cm) long and 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) wide.
Despite the name, these roaches are native to Africa and the Middle East and were brought to the US through ships in 1700.
The American Cockroach belongs to the family Blattidae
These roaches are most active at night and love to infest houses, searching for food and warmth. However, they are also found in the wild, usually under the rocks and fallen tree stems.
American Cockroaches are reddish-brown and have a yellowish margin on the thorax. They do not have wings and so can’t fly. American cockroaches feed on decomposing matter, including filth, garbage, and rotting fruits.
Fun facts about American Cockroach
- They are among the fastest insects, with up to 5.4 km/h speed.
- They have a life cycle of 700 days, the longest of all roaches.
6. Death’s Head Cockroach
Death’s Head Cockroach measures 2 inches (5 cm long) and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide.
When viewed from above, their head plate has a marking resembling a skull, hence named Death’s Head Roach. They are dark brown to black and have a flat body.
Death’s Head Cockroach has a low wingspan to body mass ratio. Therefore they can’t fly. They are most active at night and rarely infest a home.
They also belong to the family Blaberidae.
Fun facts about Death’s Head Cockroach
- They have a large appetite and are thought to eat food equivalent to their half weight at a single time.