Cockroach Life Cycle


The american cockroach is the largest common species of cockroach and mostly they are considered to be pests. In certain areas of the world they are also known as waterbugs. It has an average length of 4 cm and they are mainly reddish brown and have yellowish margin on the pronotum. Body of cockroaches are divided into three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. Scientific name of cockroaches is Americana periplaneta. It has a long and coiled alimentary canal divided into three parts-Prothorax, Mesothorax, and Metathorax.They  are known for leaving behind a stinky smell, attacking household food items and are considered carriers of diseases.

Classification of Cockroach

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Superorder: Dictyoptera

Order: Blattodea

Life Cycle of Cockroach

Life cycle of cockroach is divided into several stages and these stages are:

  1. Egg: Their life cycle begins with laying eggs, they mainly give 10 to 50 eggs in one term in warm, humid conditions. It takes cockroaches about one to two months to hatch, but the egg stage lasts for 14 to 100 days depending on climatic changes of environment. Higher temperature leads to increase in rate of development. Most of the females create multiple eggs during their lifetimes. Example: 300 eggs in a year.

  2. Nymph: This is the second stage of development and known as nymphal stage. This process undergoes several molts, growing little each day by day and after this they shed their skins. In their earlier stage they have soft, white bodies that harden and change the color to brown or gray. They are fully developed in their last molt. 

  3. Adult form: from nymph cockroach to adult cockroach they develop a pair of wings. Their life span varies from species to species, some live for two month or some two lives for two years. They are omnivorous in nature-they feed on paper to leftover food material. When female cockroaches are fully developed they lay mainly 500-600 offspring. 

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LifeSpan of Cockroach

The Length of American cockroach life depends upon environment, diet and many other conditions. If conditions are favourable lead to rapid growth of cockroach body while unfavorable conditions lead to death of cockroaches. An american cockroach will live for about a year. It will reproduce, lay more eggs and give birth to more and more cockroaches. For their lives they need food, shelter.Life span of cockroach depends on several factors like:

  1. Breed: Different species live under different conditions, that is the environment.

  2. Diet: Diet also plays a crucial role in the life span of cockroaches.

  3. Environment: Environmental factors such as humidity, temperature also play a crucial role in their development.

Medical and Economical Significance of Cockroach

American cockroaches create public problems as they are associated with human waste and disease and their ability to move from sewers into homes and commercial establishments. The cockroach is found in caves, mines, sewers, sewage treatment plants and dumps. They are claimed to be mechanical transmitters of disease causing microorganisms such as intestinal parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

MCQ Based on cockroach Life Cycle

1. Scientific name of cockroach is:

  1. Periplaneta americana

  2. Pheritima phosthuma

Answer: (a)

2. Lifespan of cockroach is:

  1. 3 Month

  2. 2 Months 

Answer: (a)

3. Head of cockroach is made up of fusion of how many segments:

  1. Two

  2. Three

  3. Four

Answer: (b)

4. Nature of cockroach sexulaity:

  1. Unisexual

  2. Bisexual


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define the Life Cycle of Cockroaches?

Ans. One species to the other. These eggs hatch into nymphs depending on environmental conditions they live in.Life cycle of cockroaches is divided into three parts:

  1. The Eggs (Ootheca) –Ootheca is known as the egg shell covering located at the abdomen of female cockroaches. The fertilized female cockroach produces around 50 eggs in a ootheca sack. The cockroaches carry the eggs in ootheca in order to protect them, till it enters the nymph stage. 

  2. The Nymph –The cockroach enters the second stage as a tiny nymph. The nymph cockroach undergoes several stages of molting and shedding of skin. It transforms into a white colored body and with each molting. Gradually the nymph becomes larger in size and their exoskeleton becomes more rigid and darker in color. The time period for the nymph stage varies from one species to another. It also depends on the environmental factors and presence of predators. The nymph stage lasts for a span of 11 to 14 months. Once the nymph finishes multiple stages of molting and develops parts like wings, it enters the adult stage.

  3. The Adult – One way to differentiate the nymph cockroach from that of an adult cockroach is their pair of wings. The lifespan of an adult cockroach varies from species to species. While some species live for two months, some other species survive for almost two years. Cockroaches are omnivorous in nature as they feed on anything – from stripes of paper to your last night’s leftover food. An adult female cockroach is capable of producing 300 to 400 offspring in her lifetime.

2. Factors on which Life Cycle of Cockroaches depends?

Ans. There are several factors on which life cycle of cockroaches depends, they are:

  1. Food: proper and regular food leads to proper development of cockroaches.

  2. Shelter: For complete life cycle they need proper shelter for their well growth.

  3. Environmental condition: temperature, humidity and several other environmental factors also determine proper growth of cockroaches.