Cryptocercus clevelandi
Cryptocercus darwini
Cryptocercus garciai
Cryptocercus kyebangensis
Cryptocercus matilei
Cryptocercus primarius
Cryptocercus punctulatus
Cryptocercus relictus
Cryptocercus wrighti

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]

Found in North America and Asia, there are 9 known species.

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]


  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.

Further reading