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Cryptocercus is a genus of Dictyoptera (cockroaches and allies) in the family Polyphagidae.[1][citation needed] It was earlier placed in a family of its own, the Cryptocercidae, of which this genus was the only member. Species are known as wood roaches or brown-hooded cockroaches.

They are subsocial xylophagous insects, found in North America and Asia. There are 9 known species.

Cryptocercus is especially notable for sharing numerous characteristics with termites, and phylogenetic studies have shown this genus is more closely related to termites than it is to other cockroaches. Cryptocercus spp., apart from having a common ancestor with termites, have been placed within the Polyphagidae based on molecular analysis, and they are even closer relatives of Therea sp. [2]


  1. ^ Uracnrs, Philippe Grandcolas (1994). "Phylogenetic systematics of the subfamily Polyphaginae, with the assignment of Cryptocercus Scudder, 1862 to this taxon (Blattaria, Blaberoidea, Poiyphagidae)". Systematic Entomology 19 (2): 145–158. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.1994.tb00584.x. ISSN 0307-6970. 
  2. ^ (Grandcolas, 1996 and later) incomplete citation.


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