What Is The Lifespan Of A Cockroach? Classification,

Hello friends, in this article you will get complete information about the cockroach, what is the lifespan of a cockroach? External morphology, internal morphology, classification, digestive system, and respiratory system of cockroaches, so let’s start.

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What is the lifespan of a cockroach?

Talking about the lifespan of cockroaches, their lifespan is between 7–12 months, but cockroaches sometimes survive for 1.5 – 2 years. Their life span depends on species, environmental conditions, and resources. This rule applies to almost all living beings.

We will know about cockroaches in detail in this article, if you read this article completely, then I guarantee that you will know a lot about cockroaches, so let’s know A-Z about cockroaches.

What is a cockroach?

The cockroach is an insect that is found all over the world. It is omnivorous. They are nocturnal. They live in abundance in kitchens, hotels, bakeries, restaurants, warehouses, sewage, and public places. Not only this, they carry with them various harmful bacteria and germs like cholera, diarrhea, tuberculosis, and typhoid, hence they are known as “Vectors“.

This was some basic information about cockroaches, now we will know about their classification.

Classification of Cockroaches

what is cockroach
Cockroach Image credit – freepik.com

Now, let us know the scientific name of the cockroach.

What is the scientific name of a cockroach?

The scientific name of cockroach

The scientific name of the cockroach is Periplaneta americana. The scientific name of any organism is the name of its genus and species taken together.

Firstly, let us talk about the classification of cockroaches.

The cockroach is placed in the Phylum Arthropoda. Phylum Arthropoda has mainly two characteristics. First, jointed appendages are found in the animals of this phylum, and second, the outer skeleton of the animals of this phylum is made of chitin.

Now let’s talk about its class, so cockroaches are placed in Class – Insecta, and Insecta means insect. That is, insects have been placed in this class. The main characteristic of this class is that 3 pairs of legs are found in the animals of this class. This means 6 legs are found. So they are called Hexapoda.

Now we will study the external morphology of cockroaches.

Morphology of Cockroach

The cockroach is brown.

Its exoskeleton is made of chitin. I have already told you that the exoskeleton of all arthropods is made of chitin.

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The body of the cockroach is segmented, and each segment is an exoskeleton of chitin. These are called sclerites.

The dorsal or upper part of the cockroach is called Tergites, and the ventral or lower part of the Sclerites is called Sternites. And these two parts are connected by a membrane. Which is called an arthrodial membrane. And the sclerites of the lateral part are also called Pleurites.

Into how many parts is the body of a cockroach divided?

Cockroach’s body is divided into 3 parts.

  1. Head
  2. Thorax
  3. Abdomen


Their head is 6 segments in the embryonic stage, and these 6 segments together form a head in the adult. Their head is triangular. And it is perpendicular to the main axis, i.e. at 90 degrees. And this stage is called Hypognathus.

Appendages are also found in their head and in this appendage, there is a pair of Antennae that are tactile and olfactory sensory (smell). It works to find food, there is also a pair of compound eyes.

Compound eye means that the eye is made up of many units and in these units, one part of the picture is formed, and these one part together make a complete picture. And this one unit is called ommatidia. They have mouth parts in their head.


Their mouths are of biting and chewing type. Which is called the Mandibular type. They have a pair of upper jaws (Maxillae) in their mouth. And there is a pair of lower jaws (mandible). Their upper lip is called the labrum and their lower lip is called the labium. And they have a hypopharynx which acts as a tongue.


Their thorax is 3 segments in the embryonic stage, and only three segments remain in adulthood.

  1. Pro-thorax
  2. Meso-thorax
  3. Meta-thorax

Each of these three segments has a pair of legs, that is, there are three pairs of legs. The widest part of their leg is Coxa and the longest part is Tibia.

Cockroaches have two pairs of wings. The first pair originates from the mesothorax. Which are called forewings. It is light to dark brown in color and leathery. It does not help in flying. It only serves as a cover for the other wing during rest. Or provides security.

The second pair of wings is derived from the metathorax and is called the hind wings. It acts real and flies. This wing is membranous and transparent.


Their abdomen is 11 segmented in the embryonic stage and becomes 10 segmented in adulthood. But in female cockroaches, 7 segments are clearly visible, and in males, 9 segments are clearly visible. In female cockroaches, the 7th sternite is boat-shaped.

And together with the 8th and 9th sternite, it forms the genital pouch. Female pores (gonophore), spermatheca pores, and collateral glands are found in this germ cell.

Cockroaches are unisexual, meaning that males and females are separate. Male and female can be differentiated on the basis of morphology, this feature is called sexual dimorphism. By looking normally, how will you know whether it is male or female?

Male cockroaches are flattened and have a pair of anal styles on the 9th sternite segment, while females are slightly swollen and do not have anal styles.

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A pair of anal cercis are present on the 10th tergite segment of cockroaches, which are sensitive to vibration. It is present in both males and females.

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Now we will read about the mechanism of cockroaches –

Anatomy of Cockroach

The digestive system of cockroaches –

Their digestive system is divided into three parts.

  1. Fore-gut
  2. Mid-gut
  3. Hind-gut
digestive system of cockroach
image credit – bankofbiology.com


It is layered with a cuticle. The mouth, pharynx, Lagrangian, esophagus, crop, and gizzard come under this. The crop that is in it stores food and the gizzard has chitinous teeth which work to grind the food.

Mid-gut –

Between the fore-gut and midgut, there are 6-8 cecum that secrete digestive enzymes. These are called hepatic caecae.


It is also layered with a cuticle. And it is wider than the midgut. It differentiates into the ileum, colon, and rectum, which open out of the anus. Between mid-gut and hind-gut, there are 100 – 150 Malphigian tubules that perform the function of excretion.

Blood vascular system of cockroaches –

The circulatory system in cockroaches is open type. The open type means that they do not have blood vessels or are poorly developed. This means flows in open areas. Their heart is neurogenic.

Neurogenic means that the heart cannot be excited by itself, the impulse or information in the heart to excite comes from the nervous system. That’s why it is called Neurogenic. Their heart is connected to the alary muscles and has 13 contractile segments, while the heart of all vertebrates is myogenic, that is, it is self-exciting.

Blood vascular system of cockroaches
image credit – bankofbiology.com

Cockroaches’ blood is called hemolymph because their blood is colorless. It is colorless because there is no respiratory pigment in their blood. Like – Hemoglobin, Hemocyanin, etc. are not there, and their cells are called Hematocytes.

Due to the absence of respiratory pigment in their blood, it does not work in the transport of gases. Will only serve to provide nutrition.

The Respiratory System Of Cockroaches –

Cockroaches have respiratory organs for respiration. Which are called tracheal tubes. These tracheae are divided into small branches called tracheoles, which direct oxygen to the tissues.

And these tracheal tubes open outwards. These holes are called spiracles. The number of these holes is 10 pairs, 2 pairs are in the thoracic part and 8 pairs are in the abdominal part, and all these holes are in the lateral part. And these spiracles are regulated by the Sphincter muscle.


Excretory system of cockroach –

These insect classes extract waste material uric acid in their excretion, hence they are called Uricotelic. The main excretory structure of a cockroach is the Malphigian tubule. And these tubules contain glandular epithelium and along with it ciliated cells.

These Malphigian tubules convert nitrogenous wastes into uric acid and pass it out through the hindgut or anus.

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Not only this, there are other excretory structures in it. These are as follows.

  • Fat body
  • Nephrocytes
  • Urecose glands

The nervous system of cockroaches –

Cockroach has two solid nerve cords in the ventral part. And this happens mostly in the chest and abdomen. There are three pairs of ganglia in the thoracic region and about 6 pairs of ganglia in the abdomen. That’s why they survive for 7–10 days even after their head is cut off.

Two types of nerve rings are found in their heads.

  1. Supra-oesophageal ganglia – It goes to Antennae, Eye, and Labrum.
  2. Subesophageal ganglia – It goes to the maxillae, mandible, and labium.

The reproductive system of cockroaches –

So friends, first, we will read about the male reproductive system.

Male reproductive system –

They have a pair of testes in the 4th, 5th, and 6th segments of their body. The vas deferens emerge from these testes and open into the utricle gland. This gland is present in the 6-7th abdominal segment. Inside this gland, there are spermatic cords and long and short tubules. Another gland is attached to the top of the utricle gland, which is named the Phallic or conglobate gland.

male reproductive system of cockroach
the male reproductive system of cockroaches

Downward from the utricle gland, an ejaculatory duct emerges, which opens into the phallomere.

In male cockroaches, the accessory reproductive glands are phallic and utricle glands, both of which convert sperm into packets, which means that all sperm stick to each other and are arranged in the form of packets. These are called Spermatophores.

Describe the female reproductive system of cockroaches.

Female reproductive system –

The female has a pair of ovaries in the 2nd-6th segment, and each ovary has 8 ovarian tubes, and ovipositors emerge from the ovaries. Their sixth segment contains spermatheca which temporarily stores sperm.

female reproductive system of cockroach
The female reproductive system of cockroaches.

Above it is present the vagina, and below it is present the gonad chamber and vestibulum below the gonad chamber. The germinal chamber and the vestibulum together are called the genital chamber. This happens in the 7th, 8th, and 9th segments. In this, the accessory reproductive glands are collateral glands.

In this, the process of fertilization takes place in the Genital chamber, i.e. internal fertilization takes place. Now, after fertilization, the fertilized eggs are covered with a capsule called Ootheca. And the covering of the capsule is formed by collateral glands.

The female cockroach lays 9-10 ootheca at a time, and each ootheca contains 14 to 16 fertilized eggs.

Development in Cockroach –

Their development is Paurometabolous (incomplete) type. Incomplete means their larva, which is called Nymph, is like an adult. It has all the characteristics of an adult, only it does not have wings, while the adult has wings. They become adults after 13 moultings.

life cycle of cockroach , What Is The Lifespan Of A Cockroach
image credit – freepik.com

Many species of cockroaches are wild. About 30 of the 4,600 species are associated with human habitation.

Diploptera punctata, the cockroach, produces a nutritionally dense crystalline “milk” to feed its young. It is found in Myanmar, China, Fiji, Hawaii, and India. Scientists believe that cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future.

Frequently Asked Questions –

How many chambers are there in the heart of a cockroach?

There are a total of 13 chambers or chambers in the heart of a cockroach.

How long can a cockroach hold its breath?

Cockroaches can hold their breath for 45 minutes.

Read the complete article to answer all the questions given below.

  1. How many legs does a cockroach have?
  2. What is the name of the respiratory organ in cockroaches?
  3. How does air enter the cockroach’s body?

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