Lesser Cockroach

The Lesser Cockroach (Ectobius panzeri) is an insect in the Ectobiidae family (formerly the Blattellidae family) of non-cosmopolitan cockroaches. 

The Lesser Cockroach is brownish-black.It has a waxy exo-skeleton, like a shield. Its head has pale yellow markings, with long antennae. It has wings and can fly short distances. The female has shorter wings than the male. It has pads and hooks on its feet that enable it to climb, even on smooth glass.

Lesser Cockroach (juvenile)

It measures about 1 centimetre (less than 1 inch) in length. The female is large than the male.

It is native to Europe, particularly from southern United Kingdom to northern France. It prefers to live in open, dry forests with casuarina trees.

The Lesser Cockroach is an insect, but it does not undergo a full metamorphosis, because it does not have a pupa or cocoon phase. Its life cycle is: egg, nymph, adult cockroach.

The nymph is the baby or juvenile stage.

The female Lesser Cockroach lays 10-40 eggs on the top of soil or other surfaces. The eggs hatch into nymphs after 30-60 days. 

The nymphs look like adult cockroaches, but smaller and without wings. They soon turn brown-black with a yellowish-white stripe across their abdomen. They feed themselves, without the care of their parents.

The nymph phase lasts for about 60 days, and they shed their outer skin 4-7 times as they grow larger. These stages are called instars or instar phases.

The adult stage is called the imago phase when the nymph gains its wings. It grows two pairs of wings. The adult phase lasts for about 200-300 days, and then it dies. 

Lesser Cockroach (juvenile)

[Location of photographs: Paris, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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