American cockroach, 4 cm (1.6 in) long Cockroaches are extremely adaptable insects. They have broad, flattened bodies with relatively small heads and long antennae. The spines on their legs help them move through soft or lumpy terrain. They can live almost anywhere and many will eat any kind of food they can find. Some are tree-dwellers and have wings, while other, wingless kinds burrow into the ground or hide in small spaces, coming out to feed. Some kinds are found in houses, where they eat our food and spread germs and diseases. A few species are capable of going without food for a month.
The hissing cockroach can measure up to 8 centimetres (3 inches) long. Ordinary cockroaches are well-known to many people as pests that live in buildings. The hissing cockroach lives in the tropical forests of Madagascar. It has an unusual way of protecting itself: when threatened, it fills with air to look bigger and then forces the air out with a loud hissing sound, scaring its attacker away.
A cockroach from Malaysia and Indonesia, scientific name Sundablatta sexpunctata
Of 4500 species of cockroach, only around 40 are known as pests.
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