Giant cockroach


Giant cockroach

Blaberus giganteus

Trinidad

DB.8262

This is one of the world’s largest types of cockroach. Most of our 3000+ species of cockroach come from the tropics and they are particularly numerous and diverse in rainforests.

Where can you see them? They are only found in the rainforests of Central and South America and on some of the Caribbean islands. As they need dark and damp conditions, they are usually found in tree hollows, cracks in rocks, in caves or under loose bark. The adults and older cockroach nymphs tend to live in groups. The young spread are more spread out. They hide on the forest floor in piles of bat guano (poo), leaf litter or similar to help avoid army ants and other creatures that want to eat them.

What do they eat? They eat a lot of decaying plant material, but are general scavengers so bat guano, fruit, seeds, dead insects, and other dead animals may also be on the menu.

Why are they important? Like all cockroaches they have an important role. They help to recycle forest nutrients in plant and animal remains. They are also an important source of food for many other animals including birds, lizards, small mammals and other invertebrates. Some species of cockroach are important pollinators of some rainforest plants.

Are they threatened? These cockroaches are quite commonly traded as pets. They are easily bred in captivity, rather than harvested from the wild. They can also produce lots of babies fast, so populations are not threatened by this trade. 

More images of Giant cockroaches: