Cockroaches nurture and give birth to younger ones in numerous ways. Irrespective of the method, the process of reproduction is fairly similar. The females attract males by secreting pheromones, a chemical substance. After the mating process, a female can successfully carry numerous eggs in a sac like structure called ootheca.
There are three different methods of a cockroach’s life cycle.
- Oviparous: Here, the female carries the eggs in her ootheca present in her abdomen. She carries the eggs around until it is time for hatching. She either drops the eggs off in a moist surface or hides them in places far away from predators and other cockroaches. The eggs hatch and grow into adults outside the mother’s body.
- Ovoviviparous: Here the eggs grow and develop inside the ootheca. The eggs are not subjected to any external environments.
- A few other species carry eggs inside the uterus without them being surrounded by any sac like structures or ootheca. The eggs’ yolk supplies the growing embryo with vital nutrients.
- Viviparous: This way of embryo formation is closest to mammalian development. The eggs utilize the fluid in the mother’s uterus for growth and development.
Irrespective of the embryo development, after a fixed period, the eggs hatch out to form nymphs. They are white in color and wingless. They undergo molting several times and become an adult with fully developed wings and dark skin colorations. Molting may take few weeks to even a couple of years depending on the type of species. An average adult cockroach can have a lifespan of a few months to nearly five years.
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