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A genus of large cockroaches including several cosmopolitan household pests found wherever food is available, especially in moist protected areas. Periplaneta americana (American cockroach), a very large brownish-chestnut species, 30-40 mm long, is probably native to Africa but now universally distributed; Periplaneta fuliginosa (the smoky-brown cockroach) is a common household pest in the eastern and southeastern U.S.
[peri- + G. planētēs, a roamer]
Periplaneta/Per·i·pla·ne·ta/ (-plah-ne´tah) a genus of roaches, including P. america´na, the American cockroach, and P. australa´siae, the Australian cockroach.
Periplaneta(per?i-pla-net'a) [L. periplaneta, fr peri- + Gr. planetes, wanderer]
A genus of large cockroaches (order Orthoptera). See: cockroach