Wood Cockroaches

Wood Cockroach (Panesthia Cribrata)
Panesthia cribrata, a species of Wood Cockroach found in coastal eastern Australia from south-east Queensland to Tasmania
Panesthia species


Wood cockroaches are powerful burrowers that live inside and feed on rotten logs in rainforest and open forest in coastal northern and eastern Australia. They have special micro-organisms in their guts (flagellate amoebae) that help digest the cellulose in the wood on which they feed. Females give birth to nymphs which stay in family groups with the adults. These cockroaches are important in speeding the breakdown of logs.


Length about 35 - 45 mm. Black with a broad, heavily armoured body and stout spiny legs. The front of the thorax is often indented like a shovel. Adults of some species are wingless. Other species initially have wings, but these are later shed, leaving only stumps on the thorax. There are 11 Australian species of Panesthia with one restricted to Lord Howe Island.

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