American Cockroach Anatomy

How Big Are American Cockroaches?

The American cockroach, also known as the palmetto bug, is one of the largest cockroach species in U.S. Adults can grow to be more than 50 cm in length. Their bodies are shiny and range from reddish brown to dark brown in color.

american cockroach castner

Distinctive Yellow Markings

American cockroaches are identifiable by a yellow margin on the pronotum, directly behind the head. Immature American cockroaches are similar in color to adults, with yellow markings on the abdomen. Immature American roaches do not have fully developed wings.

Male Vs. Female American Cockroaches

Male and female American cockroaches appear similar and grow to be the same size. Both have a pair of fingerlike appendages at the tips of their abdomens. Known as cerci, these appendages are used to detect air currents in the cockroach's surroundings. Male cockroaches also have a pair of styli on their abdomens, located between the cerci. Styli are smaller and more delicate than cerci and serve to distinguish male and female insects from one another.

What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?

American cockroaches are anatomically similar to most other cockroach species. Their heads are comprised of the mouth, salivary glands, eyes and antennae. Their bodies are flat and ovoid in shape. They are protected by an exoskeleton that is oily in appearance. The antennae are extremely sensitive and provide American cockroaches with the sense of smell as well as detection of air movement.