Cockroaches and Termites

Order: Blattodea

Over 580 species of cockroaches within six families recorded in Australia, including several introduced species, which are common pests around residential and commercial buildings. The ‘pest’ species feed largely on human foodstuffs and waste and are known to spread a number of dangerous diseases to humans. The native species are not considered dangerous to humans, living within the ground litter and under the bark of trees. Can vary greatly in size (up to 70mm), but all have generally broad body and pronotum (frontal shield) partly covering head. Head has downward facing mandibulate mouthparts. All nymphs and some adults lack wings, but wings of species with winged adults are membranous, the forewings toughened and overlapping when not in use. The termites were formerly classified under the order Isoptera, but are now classified together with cockroaches, with five families and around 270 species in Australia. They form large multicaste colonies, comprising a single reproductive pair (queen and reproductive male), workers, soldiers and nymphs, which can be formed within timber or in constructed small to large mounds. Subterranean or arboreal, feeding on dead grass and timber. Most members of the colony are wingless, with winged reproductive caste (alates) appearing only to disperse away from parent colony to breed and establish new colonies.

American Cockroach

American Cockroach

  What does it look like?  The American Cockroach is a large reddish-brown cockroach, with a pale yellowish-brown margin on the pronotal shield. They have large wings (extending past the tip of the abdomen in males) and are competent fliers. Where does it live? Native to Africa, and introduced to most countries around the world, including Australia. Found in close association w...
Arboreal Termite

Arboreal Termite

What does it look like? Arboreal Termite soldiers are yellow-brown, dark rounded head with single prominent ‘spike’. Workers are pale, alate brown. Where does it live? Found in south-eastern QLD and eastern NSW. What are its habitats and habits? The Arboreal Termite, or Tree Termite, occur in bushland along the coast, the primary nest is established in the root crown of a tree. Once the co...
Australian Cockroach

Australian Cockroach

What does it look like? The Australian Cockroach is brown, with a yellow border around the pronotum and longitudinal yellow stripes on the outer edges of the wings. Very similar to the larger American Cockroach. Where does it live? Introduced and now widespread in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, in close proximity to human habitation. What are its habitats and habits?...
Common Methana

Common Methana

What does it look like? The Common Methana is typically dark brown to reddish-brown, with conspicuous broad cream edges along the edges of the body, wings (adult) and extending to the front of the pronotum in a ‘U’ shape. Where does it live? Native to eastern Qld and eastern NSW, and introduced to NI. What are its habitats and habits? The Common Met...
Magnetic Termite

Magnetic Termite

What does it look like?  The Magnetic Termite soldier has a yellowish head and dark mandibles curved inward with single ‘tooth’. Workers pale, alates brown with pale wings.  Where does it live? Restricted to northern NT. What are its habitats and habits? The Magnetic Termite, or Compass Termite, is found in grasslands, where large eusocial colonies construct the distinctive wedge-shaped mounds whi...