Morphology and Anatomy of Cockroach


Among the most prevalent pests that infest homes and apartments are cockroaches. Where food is cooked and cleanliness is poor, they are especially problematic. Most people find cockroaches disgusting and unpleasant just by their mere existence. They leave behind an unpleasant smell and have the potential to contaminate food, kitchenware, and other household objects. They have the chest, the abdomen, and the head. They have a thick, chitin-made exoskeleton that is brown in color. Sclerites are the name for the exoskeleton's tough plates. A cockroach has distinct male and female sexes and is a dioecious animal.

Know the Body Parts of Cockroaches

The body of cockroaches consists of a head, thorax, and abdomen. The large antennae on cockroaches enable them to detect vibrations and scents. The head, which also houses the brain, powerful mouthparts for catching and chewing food, and complex eyes, is where the antennae are attached.

Morphology and Anatomy of a Cockroach

The cockroach's body is divided into −

  • Head

  • Thorax

  • Abdomen


The mouth, eyes, and antennae are all located on the head. The brain is also included in it.

  • The term "antennal flagella" also refers to the antennae. It is a moveable organelle that resembles a thread. They are used by cockroaches to feel and smell.

  • Ocular sclerite is a ring that surrounds the eyes, and are formed of photoreceptor cells.

  • The labrum and labium, which make up the mouth, serve as lips. Mandibles, which resemble cutting and chewing tools, are present.

  • Another organ in the mouth assists in moving food around when chewing.


Prothorax, Mesothorax, and Metathorax are the three sections that make up the thorax. The prothorax, a brief extension known as the neck, connects the head and thorax. The first pair of wings develop from the mesothorax, while the second pair of wings develop from the metathorax. A set of legs is also located in the thorax. Additionally, it has forewings known as tegmina.


Ten parts make up the abdomen. In females, the 7th, 8th, and 9th sterna combine to form a vaginal pouch. The genital pouch is located near the back end of the abdomen in males. The female cockroach lacks the thread-like anal styles that the male cockroach possesses. In both male and female cockroaches, the 10th segment has a filamentous structure termed the anal cerci.

Anatomy of Cockroach

Digestive System 

The foregut, midgut, and hindgut are the three sections into which the alimentary canal is separated. The mouth goes into the pharynx, which leads into the esophagus, a small channel.

  • The crop, which serves as a food storage facility, is where the esophagus opens.

  • The gizzard is the next organ after the crop that is present. It also goes by the name proventriculus.

  • It has six chitinous plates called teeth that aid in crushing the food particles. The entire foregut is covered in cuticles.

  • The gastric caeca are a ring of tubules that are located at the intersection of the foregut and midgut and release digestive juice.

Respiratory System

Cockroaches breathe through the trachea, which is located on the side of the body. It has ten pairs of tiny openings, or spiracles, via which it opens.

  • The trachea is subdivided into tracheoles that carry oxygen from outside to different parts of the body.

Nervous System 

The nervous system of this insect is composed of fused ganglia that are segmentally organized. There are three ganglia in the thorax and six in the abdomen. The nervous system runs throughout the entire body of a cockroach.

Excretory System

Malpighian tubules with cilia and glands expel metabolic waste. Uric acid is the form in which the waste is expelled.

Circulatory System

In a cockroach, the malpighian tubules are responsible for excretion. Each tubule has glandular and ciliated cells, which are responsible for absorbing nitrogenous waste products. These are transformed into uric acid and eliminated through the gastrointestinal tract. This explains why a cockroach is referred to as a uricotelic.

Fun Facts about Cockroaches

  • Although they may adapt to a variety of situations, cockroaches often prefer to live in warm surroundings. Cockroaches can go for more than two months without water and roughly three-four months without food. It can also live without its head for approximately a week. Typically, cockroaches eat both human and animal food.

  • Cockroaches are reported to move more quickly than any other bug.

  • Cockroaches can survive without their heads for several weeks on end.

  • Asthma can be triggered by cockroaches.

  • In reality, cockroaches cannot fly.

  • People keep cockroaches as pets.


Cockroaches have lived on earth for the past 300 million years and will do so in the future. The cockroach is distinguished by its long, threadlike antennae, flattened oval body, and shiny black or brown leathery integument. Instead of pointing forward or downward like the majority of other insects, the head is bowed downward, and the mouthparts point backward.


Q1. Why are cockroaches so unique?

Ans. In cockroaches, the lost legs can grow back. Their antibiotics are produced. Additionally, they possess an almost paranormal sense of smell. Chinese scientists have now analyzed the American cockroach's genome and learned why they are so difficult to eradicate.

Q2. What fear do cockroaches have?

Ans. It is a known truth that cockroaches fear humans and other mammals or larger animals than themselves. They perceive us as potential predators, which causes them to flee out of fear. The strong and unique aromas are particularly repulsive to them.

Q3. Cockroaches are drawn to what?

Ans. In the sink, dirty dishes cockroaches hunt for leftover food, which is typically found on dirty dishes in the sink. Crumbs and leftovers on countertops or floors are another food source that will draw cockroaches, where, there is pet food on the ground and too much dampness.

Q4. Cockroaches, do they have bones?

Ans. Cockroaches have three body segments, six legs, and no bones. Instead of a skeleton, it has an exoskeleton.

Q5. Why is it that cockroaches can live without their heads?

Ans. A headless cockroach won't die of asphyxiation. Instead, they breathe through tiny openings in their body known as spiracles, which do not require brain control. You can breathe as much as you want without a head because you lack a nose, mouth, and the necessity for a brain to control your breathing.