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Brown-hooded Cockroach (Cryptocercus punctulatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Brown-hooded Cockroach

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The woods of the Appalachian mountains and the Pacific Northwest are the home of the outdoorsy Brown-hooded Cockroach.

Updated: 04/30/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Not all cockroaches want to live near humans. The Brown-hooded Cockroach is a woodland cockroach that prefers the great outdoors to kitchen cupboards pantries.

This small, social insect lives in large congregations inside and around decaying tree trunks, stumps and limbs. Keeping the generations together is the only way of keeping the population alive. Nymphs of the Brown-hooded Cockroach are hatched without the ability to digest cellulose, the chief component of plant cells. Their diet is decaying wood which is made of cellulose, so nymphs need a way to break down wood. Adults rely on cellulose-destroying protozoans in their digestive organs in order to glean nutrition from the wood. In order to ingest the same necessary protozoans, the nymphs must feed on the fecal matter of adults. Without the feces, which harbors the living protozoans, the nymphs would essentially starve to death.

The Brown-hooded Cockroach does not enter buildings with the intention of living there like other nuisance cockroaches. It is not considered a pest. Nature is its preferred domain. As rotting wood comprises both habitat and food, the Brown-Hooded Cockroach is likely to be found in woodlands and forests. Check fallen trees and broken branches that are large enough to hold extended family.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Blattodea
        Family: Cryptocercidae
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          Genus: Cryptocercus
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            Species: punctulatus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Cryptocercus punctulatus
Category: Cockroach
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 30mm (0.86" to 1.18")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black
Descriptors: roly poly; armored; segmented; tails; oval; smooth; wingless; kitchen; pantry

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 22mm (0.9in) and 30mm (1.2in)
Lo: 22mm
Md: 26mm
Hi: 30mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Brown-hooded Cockroach may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Brown-hooded Cockroach. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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