The female cockroach deposits eggs in a reddish brown, bean-shaped capsule, which in some species is carried at the tip of her abdomen until the eggs are nearly ready to hatch. The amount of offspring in a cockroach egg depends greatly upon the species. |
Female cockroaches produce egg cases, known as oothecae. Oothecae contain many eggs and are enveloped by a protein substance, which gradually hardens into a strong, protective casing. Some cockroach species drop the egg case, while other species carry it until the eggs are ready to hatch.
Egg capsules remain attached to the female until the eggs start to hatch. The female produces seven egg capsules. Each capsule can contain up to 48 eggs, more eggs per case than other species. Thus, one female can generate up to 35,000 offspring per year. This explains why large numbers of cockroaches sometimes seem to appear overnight. German cockroaches prefer kitchen and bathroom areas but will disperse to other rooms as their numbers increase.
Several species of cockroach can produce eggs without being inseminated. This is called parthenogenesis. Most of these unfertilized eggs do not hatch.
Male roaches usually inseminate female cockroaches. After mating once, the female roach can produce several batches of eggs without mating again. The female cockroach produces eggs inside of a protective capsule. The capsule is called an ootheca.
Each species of cockroach produces an ootheca that is unique in shape and color.
The American cockroach's ootheca is dark brown in color and averages 1/3-inch in length. One female may create 15 to 90 oothecae in her lifetime at a rate of one per week. . The female American cockroach carries the ootheca for two days, at which point she deposits the egg case in a safe, hidden location. The American cockroach ootheca contains approximately 15 embryos and remains in place through the use of the female's saliva. Immature cockroaches will emerge from the ootheca within 24 to 38 days.
The brown-banded cockroach's ootheca is light, reddish-brown in color and measures approximately 1/4-inch in length. Females of this species produce up to 20 cases in one lifetime and each case hatches within 70 days. Brown-banded nymphs are identifiable by two yellow bands that cross their upper abdomens. Nymphs develop fully within three to six months.
The Oriental cockroach creates a dark, reddish-brown ootheca that can reach 1/2-inch in length. These oothecae appear slightly inflated and each contains approximately 16 eggs. The female deposits the egg case in a favorable environment after it is produced. Females produce between eight and 16 egg cases in a lifetime. Nymphs typically emerge within 300 days, although their emergence is dependent upon environmental conditions.
The German cockroach's oothecae are brown in color and typically measure less than 1/2-inch in length. The female German cockroach carries the ootheca until the eggs inside it are ready to hatch. The eggs develop in about a month, so female German cockroaches produce more oothecae than any other species. One ootheca can contain up to 50 eggs. , . Because they produce so many eggs at a time and the eggs develop so quickly, their population grows very rapidly.
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