Cockroaches are insects that are recognized by being flattened from above and have two anal cerci sticking out of the hindquarters. With these cerci, the cockroach can detect movements in the air and detect approaching predators.
Appearance and characteristics
There are also defense glands on the back of the body that make the cockroach bitter in taste if someone still manages to catch it.
Since cockroaches are night-active, two long antennae act as a sensors in the dark. The front wings are tough and leathery and cover the rear body and the thin flight wings.
However, some species lack wings completely.The legs are spiny and strong and cockroaches can run very fast even on uneven ground.
The smooth adhesive pads of the feet allow them to attach even on vertical surfaces. Cockroaches are generalists and can live in a variety of environments. The head is bent forward, and is provided with a couple of sharp biting mouth parts that can chew almostanything.
There are about 4,000 cockroach species and they range in size from less than one centimeter to almost one decimeter in length. Most are found in tropical areas where they live on organic matter and act as nature's own small scavengers. However, some species prefer to live in human proximity where they cause major problems. They chew on electrical cords, eat and contaminate foodstuffs, spread a nasty odor and can also spread diseases from outdoor privies and other sources of infection.
The eggs of the cockroach are put, a number together, in a hard capsule, a so-called ootheca, which even protects the eggs against chemical pesticides. So it's not easy to get rid of these survivalists who have lived on Earth for over 300 million years.