Female cockroaches can reproduce for years without needing a male

Common female cockroaches can reproduce for years without needing a mate.

Producing dozens of generations of all-female descendants cockroaches; a team of scientists has found. Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction, allowing young insects to spawn from unfertilized eggs.

It is the main mode of reproduction for some rarer cockroach species, and also occurs naturally in a range of other invertebrates as well as fish, amphibians, reptiles and even turkeys.

In the case of the American cockroach; the largest roach commonly found across the globe, parthenogenesis was previously thought to be an option of last resort.

There are 46,000 species of cockroach across the globe; including eight centimetre long specimens found in Australia and even larger varieties in the caves of Central and South America. Some varieties have a 30 centimetre wing-span. They have been around for 200 million years and have evolved a range of survival mechanisms in that time.

Roaches can live for weeks without their heads; respiring through their bodies, and survive under water for up to half an hour. Some can cover 80 centimetre in a second, equivalent to a human running at 210 miles an hour.

And the latest findings reveal another tool in the roach’s survival arsenal. The scientists stated: “in the short term, especially in the presence of abundant resources, parthenogenesis can be a useful strategy for rapidly generating large numbers of female progeny and colonis[ing] new habitats.”

Image credit and full article on: Independent.co.uk

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