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Wingless cockroaches

wingless cockroach, Calolampra spp.
Adult wingless cockroaches are 25 mm long and the males may be winged. Photo: D. Ironside.
Photograph of a plant showing leaf damage caused by wingless cockroaches

Above ground parts of seedlings are chewed and sometimes cut off. Photo: State of Queensland

General information

Wingless cockroach adults are large, shiny brown with yellow stripes and margins. They are nocturnal, feeding at night and sheltering by day under trash.

Scientific nameCalolampra elegans and C. solida
DescriptionAdult males and females of C. elegans are large (25-35 mm long) and shiny brown with yellow stripes and margins. The male of C. solida is fully winged, whereas the females are wingless. Nymphs are initially greyish-brown or tan, developing yellow markings when about half adult size. Both species are Australian natives.
Similar species

House cockroach.

Pest statusMajor, recorded as pests in Queensland's Central Highlands, irregular. Other native cockroaches, recorded as minor pests, are Cosmozosteria sp. and Platyzosteria sp.
Crops attackedOmnivorous; food includes seedlings of all field crops.
Risk period

When seedlings are present.

DamageOn small seedlings, they feed on cotyledons and stems, often severing the stem. On larger seedlings, they feed on the leaves and growing points.
Monitoring and action level

Use germinating seed baits.

Take action when there are one or more cockroaches per two germinating seed baits.


Chemical control: Baiting with insecticide-treated cracked grain baits. For current chemical control options see Pest Genie or APVMA.

Cultural control: Wingless cockroach populations reach highest densities under no tillage with stubble retained.

Conservation of natural enemies: No effective natural enemies have been identified.

Further information

  • Crop Insects: The Ute Guide Northern Grain Belt
  • Pests of Field Crops and Pastures: Identification and Control. Editor: P.T. Bailey