Cinereous (Lobster) Cockroaches

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Nauphoeta cinerea.

APPEARANCE

Cinereous cockroaches also are called lobster roaches, speckled roaches, or Tampa roaches. The common name Tampa cockroach came about because this species was first seen and identified in Tampa, Fla. They are about 1-½ inches long as full grown adults and have wings, but are unable to fly. They are often called lobster cockroaches due to the lobster-like design on the shield that covers the head. Coloration is ashy gray, and the wings do not completely cover the insect’s abdomen.

BEHAVIOR, DIET & HABITS

Cinereous cockroaches are a nocturnal species and are mainly active at night. When disturbed during the day, they are very likely to retreat to hidden areas. Periodomestic cockroaches are more likely found in outdoor structures, but can also infest homes and other dwellings.

REPRODUCTION

Female Nauphoeta cinerea can reproduce asexually in the absence of males. While this can occur, few females actually reproduce asexually. These cockroaches live about one year, mate about six days after becoming adults, and produce six broods of about 33 eggs per year.

SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION

Evidence of an infestation includes the presence of the nymphal and adult stages, as well as the egg cases.

DISTRIBUTION

The cinereous cockroach, originally a native of northeastern Africa, was accidentally introduced into the US and many other places around the world.

OTHER INFORMATION

The lobster cockroach is widely raised and used as food for pet reptiles and amphibians, so the possibility of these cockroaches escaping and establishing populations is very likely.