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Cockroach Body Parts and Functions

April 6, 2017 | Cockroach

Cockroaches have a tendency to get all over the place. They can end up in places you’d never expect them to be like the cupboard or even your dresser drawers where your clothes are kept.

Body Parts of a Cockroach

Every cockroach has a mouth, eyes, brain, colon, heart, antennae, salivary glands, mid-guts, reproductive system, gastric caecea, esophagus, legs, malpighian tubules, and fat bodies.

Cockroach Eyes

There are over 2,000 lenses inside the eyes of a cockroach. This allows them to see many things at the same time. Compare this to the eyes of a human which only have one lens in each eye and you’ll see a big difference. Madagascar hissing cockroaches have as many as 2,500 lenses in each eye. All these lenses ensure that cockroaches can see perfectly and many objects at one time. Human beings can only see one large image at a time while cockroaches can see many images of their surroundings at once.

Cockroach Mouth

The mouth of a cockroach has the ability to move from one side to the other. It can also sense taste and smells.

Cockroach Legs

Most insects have 6 legs and so do cockroaches. These are segmented legs that are attached to the cockroach’s body in its middle area, called the thorax. When cockroaches lose their legs, they can grow back. For cockroaches to grow, they shed or molt their exoskeletons. This shedding process can be postponed if they’re waiting to grow back a lost leg.

Cockroach Salivary Glands

Cockroaches have salivary glands as well as an esophagus for easier digestion. A Nauphoeta Cinerea has salivary glands with 4 types of cells that include the central cells, peripheral cells, non-secretory duct cells, and secretory duct cells. The peripheral cells have the ability to move ions and water into the glands. Non-secretory duct cells change the concentrations of ions that are found in the saliva as it flows through the ducts.

Cockroach Spiracles, Appendages, and Antennae

The antennae of cockroaches are called feelers, which are how they can sense smells. The abdomens of cockroaches have 2 tiny appendages called cerci which are their sensors. These sensors give them a special ability over predators because they are sensitive to even the smallest air movements that are nearby. The spiracles of the cockroaches are how they’re able to breathe.

Read also: Baby Cockroaches Vs Bed Bugs Vs Carpet Beetle

Cockroach Mid-gut, Gastric Caecea, and Esophagus

The esophagus’s base has a crop where food is temporarily placed. Once food enters the cockroach’s stomach, enzymes break down the food inside the gastric caecea. The mid-gut, which is in the center of the intestines, is how nutrients get absorbed.

What Does a Cockroach Look Like?

The body of a cockroach can be described as flat and oval-shaped. These bodies can feel quite oily and their temperature can feel warm or cool, depending on the environment’s temperature that they are in. Cockroaches have small heads and are shielded by a pronotum. Each cockroach has 6 spiny long legs which give them the ability to run fast no matter what surface they are on. Their tarsi have specialized pads which allow cockroaches to scale surfaces and to walk on ceilings and walls. The mouth of a cockroach flows down and to the back. Some cockroach species even have flattened wings that are against their backs. However, only some cockroaches actually fly with their wings.

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