For all of you out there afraid of cockroaches…get yourselves prepared – there’s now one that jumps! A new genus and species of cockroach, Saltoblattella montistatabularis, was described last year from Cape Town, South Africa.
I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it until now – just look at this fabulous creature! It almost doesn’t look like a cockroach due to its specialized jumping form. The femurs (basically insect thighs) are extremely elongate and thickened so that it superficially resembles a grasshopper
….Well, a cockroach-y grasshopper…
They appear to behave similarly to grasshoppers as well – jumping from one stalk of grass to the next. Apparently, the particular jumping mechanism is currently under research to see what similarities and differences there are between these roaches and other insects specialized for jumping. The authors are calling these guys “leaproaches”, which, I think, is fantastic.
In closing, I have no reproach for the leaproach.
Bohn H, Picker M, Klass KD, Colville J. (2010) A jumping cockroach from South Africa, Saltoblatella montistabularis, gen. nov., spec. nov. (Blattodea: Blattellidae). Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny, 68(1): 53-69.
p.s. – do you like the blog’s new look?