Termites classified as cockroaches: ESA updates insect database


March 22, 2018

Photo: ©iStock.com/smuay

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) updated its Common Names of Insects Database and reclassified termites as cockroaches, of the order Blattodea, Science News reported.

Pest Management Professional reported the change last year in “Taxonomy changes in arthropods that may affect PMPs,” but not all state regulatory agencies recognized the change — and experts had not agreed on how the taxonomic levels would shake out.

A paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution says the sequencing, annotation and analysis of the genomes of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and the drywood termite, Cryptotermes secundus, are within the context of the evolution of sociality in termites from solitary cockroaches, North Carolina State University, explains in a press release. The team compared these genomes and those of 15 other insect species so that the evolution of gene families could be analyzed along the transition from non-social cockroaches to social termites.

News regarding the ESA’s update has spread, appearing in headlines across the country.


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