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Cuban Cockroach (Panchlora nivea)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cuban Cockroach

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Image Credit: Amanda C. from Hinesville, GA
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Image Credit: Amanda C. from Hinesville, GA
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The pale green Cuban Cockroach expanded its range from small islands to the Southeast, where it enjoys warm weather even in winter.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Cuban Cockroach originated from Cuba and the Caribbean islands. It prefers living outdoors in the humid and hot air, but it has been known to wander indoors. It is a bright shade of green, with yellowish underbellies. It is large and has wings, and can fly very well.

This species of cockroach can be seen at night hanging out on plants like palm trees or coconut trees. Cuban Cockroaches are great scavengers, eating whatever biological matter they can find including rotting fruit or carcasses, food scraps, and even paper.

Dark brown larvae hide in leaf litter and vegetation until they mature into adults. All become very good fliers and are attracted to lights at night. Some consider this species a 'pet' (like the popular and large Madagascar Hissing Cockroach) thanks to their bright green color, a shade that is atypical for cockroaches in general.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Blattodea
        Family: Blaberidae
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          Genus: Panchlora
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            Species: nivea
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Panchlora nivea
Other Name(s): Banana Cockroach
Category: Cockroach
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 18mm (0.47" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; yellow
Descriptors: fast, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 12mm (0.5in) and 18mm (0.7in)
Lo: 12mm
Md: 15mm
Hi: 18mm
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 Cuban 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 Cuban Cockroach. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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