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Cryptocercus - brown-hooded cockroaches
Cryptocercus clevelandi.jpg
Cryptocercus clevelandi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Blattodea
Superfamily: Blattoidea
Family: Cryptocercidae
Handlirsch, 1925
Genus: Cryptocercus
Scudder, 1862

See text

Cryptocercus is a genus of Dictyoptera (cockroaches and allies) and the sole member of its own family Cryptocercidae.[1] Species are known as wood roaches or brown-hooded cockroaches. These roaches are subsocial, their young requiring considerable parental interaction. They also share wood-digesting gut bacteria types with wood-eating termites, and are therefore seen as evidence of a close genetic relationship, that termites are essentially evolved from social cockroaches.[2]

Cryptocercus is especially notable for sharing numerous characteristics with termites, and phylogenetic studies have shown this genus is more closely related to termites than it is to other cockroaches.[3]


Found in North America and (especially temperate) Asia, there are 12 known species:


  1. ^ Beccaloni, G. & P. Eggleton. (2013). Order Blattodea. In: Zhang, Z.-Q.(Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013). Zootaxa 3703(1) 46-48.
  2. ^ Daegan Inward, George Beccaloni, and Paul Eggleton (2007) Death of an order: a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study confirms that termites are eusocial cockroaches
  3. ^ Djernæs, M., et al. 2012. Phylogeny of cockroaches (Insecta, Dictyoptera, Blattodea), with placement of aberrant taxa and exploration of out-group sampling. Systematic Entomology 37(1): 65–83. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00598.x.

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