Photogallery - 9 species of
are insects of the order Blattodea
(the name Blattaria
is also seen). The names of the order are derived from Greek blatta, meaning "cockroach". There are roughly 3,500 species in 6 families. Cockroaches exist worldwide, with the exception of the polar regions and in elevations above 2,000 m (6,500 ft).
The earliest cockroach-like fossils are from the Carboniferous period between 354-295 million years ago; however, these fossils differ from modern cockroaches in having long ovipositors and are apparently the ancestors of termites and mantids as well as modern cockroaches. In fact, current evidence strongly suggests that termites have evolved directly from true cockroaches. The first fossils of "modern" cockroaches with short ovipositors appear in the early Cretaceous. Mantodea
are included by some entomologists together in a single order, Dictyoptera
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