Blattodea is an Order of insects containing the cockroaches.

Cockroaches first evolved around 350-300 million years ago and are probably one of the most despised of all insects. For some people the mere mention of cockroaches will send them running for cover. However, there are roughly 4,500 described species of cockroaches and only about 25 are considered to be pests. The rest of the order are extremely beneficial insects in a variety of ecosystems.

Most species of cockroach are omnivorous (that is, they'll eat almost anything from plants, dead animals and even glue) and are predominantly found in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

The Blattodea contains seven families but some of the most well known are the pest species (found in the family: Blattidae) such as Periplaneta americana (the American Cockroach) and Periplaneta germanica (the German Cockroach).

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of cockroach classification is that of Termites now being thought of as a family of eusocial (living together in a colony with only some individuals being able to reproduce) cockroaches.

A photograph of the American Cockroach (_Periplaneta americana_)

The American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is a common pest species found in the home. Photograph by Gary Alpert, used under GFDL

Other names for (or types of) Blattodea include:

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