Lobster Cockroach Facts
Lobster cockroaches, scientifically named Nauphoeta cinerea, are among the myriad species of cockroaches populating the earth. Contrary to common perceptions of roaches as mere pests, these intriguing insects provide an excellent opportunity for learning and understanding the natural world. Here’s a closer look at some of the captivating details surrounding this nocturnal critter.
|Scientific Name||Nauphoeta cinerea|
|Size||Approx. 1 1/2 inches (adults)|
|Ability to Fly||No|
|Reproduction||Can reproduce asexually (rare among females)|
|Native Region||Northeastern Africa|
|Notable Distribution||Caribbean, Cuba, Galapagos Islands, Brazil etc.|
|Preferred Temperature||70-90 degrees F (21-32 degrees C)|
The native home of the lobster cockroach is northeastern Africa. However, through human activity and trade, they have journeyed far beyond their original habitat. Today, they have marked their presence in places ranging from the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands to Brazil and Mexico.
Despite this wide spread, one might be relieved to learn that their infestation in the U.S. is relatively rare. The first identification of this species in the U.S. was in Tampa, Florida, earning them the alternative name “Tampa roaches.”
Upon initial observation, one can easily spot the resemblance of these cockroaches to lobsters – the pattern on their shield, which covers their head, is remarkably similar. This attribute earns them their distinctive name. Matured lobster cockroaches measure approximately 1 1/2 inches in length. Their ashy-gray bodies carry wings, though these appendages are not functional for flight and are shorter than their abdomen.
Night Owls of the Cockroach World
Being nocturnal creatures, lobster cockroaches come to life during the night. If they are unintentionally disturbed during daylight hours, their first instinct is to scuttle away to concealed locations. This behavior is a survival tactic that many nocturnal creatures, including most cockroach species, exhibit to evade predators.
Unique Reproductive Cycle
One of the most fascinating aspects of the lobster cockroach is its reproductive potential. In the absence of male cockroaches, certain females have the rare ability to reproduce asexually. This means they can produce eggs even without mating. However, this asexual reproduction isn’t common among all females.
Lifespan & Growth
A typical lobster cockroach lives for about a year. They become capable of reproducing around six days after reaching adulthood. During their lifetime, they can produce an impressive six broods, with each brood consisting of approximately 33 eggs. With adequate food supply, their population can flourish rapidly.
Care & Housing
For enthusiasts looking to keep these creatures, the care process is relatively straightforward. They don’t require specialized lighting – ordinary room lighting will suffice. However, they do prefer warm conditions. A temperature range of 70-90 degrees F is ideal, though breeding cockroaches thrive better in slightly higher temperatures of 80-90 degrees F.
Lobster cockroaches are more than just another roach species. Their unique appearance, adaptive reproductive capabilities, and expansive distribution make them a fascinating study for anyone interested in entomology. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a casual learner, the world of Nauphoeta cinerea offers plenty of surprises and knowledge.