Source: WikiPedia.org republished under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Attribution:Gary Alpert at the English language Wikipedia
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Introduction: The American cockroach is also called a waterbug the Bombay canary and the Palmettobug. Despite its name the American cockroach is not native to North America but was most probably introduced via ships from Africa. It is worldwide in distribution.
Recognition: Adults about 1 3/8"-2 1/8" (34-53mm) long. Color reddish brown except for a submarginal pale brown to yellowish band around edge of pronotal shield. Last segment of cercus at least 2 times longer than wide. Both sexes fully winged with wings of male extending beyond tip of abdomen whereas females do not poor to moderately good fliers.
Habits: Although American cockroaches are found in residences they are much more common in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants bakeries grocery stores food processing plants hospitals etc. where they usually infest food-storage and food preparation areas basements and steam tunnels. During summer months they can be found outdoors in yards and alleys. In the United States this is the most common species found in city sewer systems.