The cockroach belongs to the insect family Blattodea. This superorder includes about 4,600 species. They are omnivorous insects with flat, shield-like bodies, long antennae, and compound eyes. Their head is enclosed in a pronotum, which is a shield-like structure on the top of their thorax behind the head. Some species of cockroach also have wings, but not all of them have them. Their hind wings are thin and fan-like, while the fore wings are leathery.
Adult females carry egg cases until they are ready to hatch, and they can lay as many as thirty to forty eggs. The development from nymph to adult takes about three months. Cockroaches are native to Mediterranean regions, but they have been observed in irrigated landscapes as well. They can live in the San Francisco Bay area and other parts of central and northern California.
Although they were previously thought of as members of Orthoptera, cockroaches now belong to a separate order, Blattodea. In fact, they are closely related to termites and share many characteristics, including the gut bacteria. Blattoidea includes the families of Blattidae, Corydiidae, and Polyphagidae.
Cockroaches are nocturnal and will often scatter when disturbed. Their young are called nymphs, and they are similar to adult cockroaches but lack wings. They are also not reproductively active, and are white. The nymph stage of a cockroach is typically the most abundant stage in the field population.