Familiar cockroaches in their original habitat?

In Hong Kong, cockroaches are all over the place in urban areas.

(There are also wild native cockroach species, like the Amphibious Litter Cockroach, but I’m talking about introduced cockroaches.)

With curious names such as American Cockroach, Australian Cockroach, German Cockroach etc - none of these originating from where the name might suggest -

I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to look at these species in the ecosystem where they come from and belong?

If you have any experience looking at these familiar urban cockroaches in their original habitat and range, I invite you to write about such experiences here.

Alternatively, if you have a favourite cockroach species that isn’t really one of those global urban ones, you can write about that too.



Cape mountain cockroach. Live in clumps of restios on the mountain.

They tip themselves up on one side and squeak at you in indignation if you come too close. Mothers take good care of their horde of children. Sometimes in a kindergarten with aunts.


When I visited Ecuador, I was delighted to find native rainforest cockroaches that were green in color.

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This thread got me curious: what are the original habitats? Looking up the four main household pest species on Wikipedia:

“Despite their name, American cockroaches are native to Africa and the Middle East.”

“Despite its name, the Australian cockroach is a cosmopolitan species, and an introduced species in Australia. P. australasiae probably originated in Africa.”

“Previously thought to be a native of Europe, the German cockroach later was considered to have emerged from the region of Ethiopia in Northeast Africa, but more recent evidence suggests that it actually originated in Southeast Asia.”

“Originally endemic to the Crimean Peninsula and the region around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, [the oriental cockroach’s] distribution is now cosmopolitan.”

So the only one whose name reflects its true origin is the oriental, and then only in the sense that the Orient, in the broad sense, includes all of Asia. I, too, would be interested to find out if anyone has ever observed them in their true native habitat; as in not in or around human buildings. Where did they live before they moved in with us?

The ones currently infesting my apartment are, I believe, the “German” kind.

Most of the cockroach species in the South African Cape are endemic else and you quite often see them hanging around the fynbos in the warmer months.

The thought of seeing an American Cockroach etc. in a natural habitat feels absurd to me. Have these species become extinct in the wild? Must have all happened so fast.

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