creature feature – jumping cockroach

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.

watch out - i jump!

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?


4 thoughts on “creature feature – jumping cockroach

  1. It’s a little bland for me. The grey is making me depressed. I need chocolate covered strawberries stat.

  2. James – well…it was black before, so hopefully this is a bit less depressing 😉
    i’d like to change the top picture, but don’t have a great one to use at the moment. hopefully that will add some color…actually i could false color that picture…hmmmm. something to think about.
    i’ll have to see if there’s some research going on with insects and strawberries and tell you all about it!

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