Hi guys, welcome back to Animal Wonders Insects are the most numerous animals on our planet We’ve identified over eight hundred thousand species and scientists estimate there may be more like ten million species What makes them so successful is their diversity. Some of their adaptations are so extreme that they look like they came out of a sci-fi story. While all insects are interesting, Today I want to focus on just one group, and then one specific species. Today, let’s talk about cockroaches. Most people aren’t thrilled when they think about a cockroach. And that’s understandable, because lots of people have had to deal with them as pests. But I think cockroaches are awesome. Did you know that there are about four thousand species of cockroaches? But only about about thirty species are considered pests Most cockroach species live in niche habitats away from human populations. Which is probably a good thing, because some tropical species can get huge. Some have four inch bodies, others have seven inch wingspans and there are even some that can weigh up to eighty-eight grams Here’s one of the larger species: the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach I’m wearing a glove because recently I’ve become severely allergic to cockroaches but I still want to share them with you because I think they’re really cool. These guys live on the forest floors of Madagascar and they make their living eating dead plants and animals and fallen fruit Let’s take a closer look at these guys First, you’ll notice that they don’t have any wings, like other species. And what you thought was their head is really the hard armor on their back. Their head is actually underneath, right here And here you can see their eyes and their antennae Now, look at these two next to each other. Can you see the difference between their antennae? The one on the left is thick and fuzzy, while the one on the right is skinny and smooth. Now, there’s another between them too. Can you see it? Check out these bumps. These raised portions are used like horns and only the males have them They use them to fight for territory and access to females. So this one with the fuzzy antennae and horns is a male, and his name is Rick. And this one with the smooth antennae and the smaller bumps is the female. Her name is Sue But do you know what’s really neat? Rick and Sue are descendants of cockroaches that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Prehistoric cockroach fossils have been dated back to three hundred fifty million years ago And modern day cockroaches date back to about two hundred million years ago During this time cockroaches have adapted to be the ultimate survivors. They can eat just about anything and they can survive without food for up to six weeks. They can do this because they have a secret sidekick. Intercellular bacteroids live inside specific cells in every cockroach. And they’re passed from mother to offspring. This bacteria produces all the amino acids and vitamins that the cockroach needs to survive So that’s how cockroaches can live off foods that are lacking nutrients, like grease, or the glue on the back of a stamp. Cockroaches begin life as a little tiny egg that’s often carried around inside the mother or deposited in a safe location. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches like Sue, will carry thirty to sixty eggs inside her in a special case called an ootheca. After about sixty day, the nymphs hatch out inside her body, and then she gives birth to live young. The babies molt six times before reaching maturity at seven months old. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are unusually long-lived insects with a lifespan of two to five years In order to reach five years old, they also have to survive by not getting eaten, so they use camouflage to blend in, but they also really like to hide, the smaller the space, the better. They are thigmotropic, meaning they feel most comfortabe when their bodies are in contact with something solid, preferably from all sides. So maybe we should go hug a cockroach! Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches have a unique way of interacting with each other The males have a hierarchy which they establish by duking it out with their horns but they also have verbal communication too. It’s pretty common for vertebrates to use their respiratory system to produce sounds Like birdsong, or human voices or hissing snakes. But most insects make noise by rubbing two body parts together, like crickets. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches defy the rules and produce their sounds by expelling air our of their spiracles Spiracles are tiny holes that run along their body that they use to breathe. The males actually have three distinct hisses that they use for communication They’ll hiss at each other during battles and usually the louder hisser is the winner They also have a warning hiss that they do when they’re startled And they’ll hiss to impress the ladies. It’s even thought that they know the difference between familiar cockroaches and strangers Which is so cool! Speaking of neat behaviors, have you ever heard of the study done by Pavlov, where he would ring a bell just before feeding his dogs? Eventually, the dogs began associating the bell with food, and so they would start drooling when they heard it, because they thought food was coming. Well, the same study was done on cockroaches and guess what happened? The cockroaches drooled too. When I watch our cockroach colony, I’m amazed by their little world Full of hierarchies determined by horn battles eating whatever they want, dramatic courtships and really, everyone just wants to be hugged. Getting to spend time with cockroaches in an unorthodox way like caring for and propagating a colony instead of viewing them as pests in my home has allowed me to see them in a different light. They’re incredibly interesting and it makes me wonder what else there is to learn about other often overlooked species. I can’t wait to find out, and I hope you keep wondering too. If you’d like to go on an adventure with us every week subscribe to our youtube channel Animal Wonders Montanna And if you have any questions for me, you can leave them in the comments below and we’ll see you next week

100 thoughts on “Cockroaches!”

  1. 1:13 recently you've become severely allergic to cockroaches? I didn't know a person could just could develop an allergy like that if you didn't already have the allergy in the first place, how does that work? Also, I think sue should change her name to Morty.

  2. thanks for loving the animals that many people find unlovable. every creature deserves appreciation.

  3. you guys deserve more subs! you produce quality videos and teach in a fun and entertaining ways! 😁

  4. hug a cockroach?! the only way i would hug a cock-roach is with the bottom of my shoe.

    While i appreciate your enthusiasm, Jessi, i think these ugly creatures are doing just fine without humans taking care of them as pets.

  5. Ugh I work @Caesars Palace, and being that it was built in the 60's parts of the substructure are no longer used, and the back of the house comes into contact with some of the walls of those no longer used areas. I've seen several of these beasts that had a body that was six inches long. They are so massive their legs don't even work well to propel them along.

    Cockroaches are all over the Las Vegas Valley. Well except for the areas (like my neighborhood 🙁 where the scorpions run the show. In fact scorpions are so pervasive in my neighborhood you only very infrequently see insects of any kind other than scorpions since everything else is just a tasty meal to them.

  6. uh sorry cockroaches (the tree roach variaty) i cant hold anthing but the deepest fear and hatred for…. though i do respect them in their natural environment…. them and wolf spiders are about the only animal that freak me out just seeing them

  7. I got to handle Madagascar hissing cockroaches in a university biology lab a couple of weeks ago. So cool! We wore floes because they have sharp spikes on their legs, but I'm sorry to hear that you have become allergic to them! I really enjoyed learning about them, and while I wouldn't want to find any in my house, I really enjoyed the opportunity to handle and observe them and I think that they are just absolutely adorable! ☺️. Great video!

  8. Ants, bees and termites are also really interesting. I have 12 different species of stingless bees in my house. And did you know that termites are descendants of cockroaches?

  9. FOUR INCH BODIES? SEVEN INCH WINGSPAN? Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nopenopenope!

    A question: What happens if a female hissing cockroach gets loose? Can they survive here?

  10. so these bacteria..may be they do more than just providing nutrients to the cockroach? i think there is definitely more interaction going on, than a simple symbiotic relationship. Like, human gut microbiome has been linked to depression. These cockroaches can become a model organism to study these interactions , especially since you said they exhibit the kind of pavlovian relationship, i wonder what neural circuit they have to establish this conditioning? And how the bacteria influence these circuits, may be they release some specialized neurotransmitters.

    Another question i wondered about is whether the bacteria can pass not just from mother to daughter, but from stranger to stranger (like horizontal transfer). Like, if a cockroach dies, does a nearby cockroach move towards it to sort of pick up the bacteria and eat the dead cockroach? I recently observed in my home a cockroach interacting with dead cockroach. I also saw young cockroaches coming out of a dead cockroach, and it was small but not entirely underdeveloped. I know my observations aren't exactly scientific or done in a controlled manner (and they involved a species of cockroaches that are pests and not the kind you talked about), but i think cockroaches are definitely an interesting species like ants. We have so much to learn from nature.

  11. I love your enthusiasm, but I just spent the last ten days dog-sitting in a house positively infested with cockroaches. Never seen so many of them before…I'm back in my house and I still find myself automatically checking for them and doing a double-take if I catch a glimpse of a dark spot. Ugh.

  12. Well sorry but I still find them disgusting! I know that they are harmless but I'm really afraid of big insects. Last year a cockroach flew in my head. Then I got into my home with the cockroach on my head! After that, I felt something annoying in my head and when I put my hand on my hand I threw it down and started screaming so loud that the neighbors asked me if I was Ok the next day! Don't wild cockroaches carry diseases and illnesses? 😱😱😱

  13. is it true cockroaches are full of diseases and germs and such? my mum goes on about them like you will catch the plague from them just by being in the same room as them but then you see videos of people putting pet roaches in their mouth to freak people out like it's no big deal, which is it?

  14. I'm Fine With Any Kind Of Bug, Insect, ETC. As Long As They Don't Touch Me And/Or My Things, Make REALLY Annoying Noises, And/Or Are Venomous. Otherwise, They're Free To Hang Around.

  15. Your enthusiasm is infectious! I'm more of an ant fan myself, but I'm interested in all insects so this was really cool!

  16. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about cockroaches as you are 😭 they scare the living crap out of me so much

  17. You always do so well at teaching me to try and at least appreciate the creatures you care for. But, sorry, this time my skin just instinctively crawled when I saw the roachy intro andv I couldn't shake that feeling during the rest of the episode 😯

  18. Yes! I was wondering if hissers would be covered. I have a tank of them it's really fun to eat healthy and share my food with them.

  19. It's nice to see you make videos about bugs as well. Although Pavlov never used a bell, that's a mistranslation. He actually used a buzzer.

  20. I would love if you did a video about hermit crabs. No pet store ever seems to know much about them or have much advice for people buying them. Most websites on them are hard to access or have old information.

  21. I was going to watch this… I really was! However, like my attempts to read Madame Bovary, I have failed. The motivation of knowledge acquisition cannot overcome my heebie-jeebies 😷

  22. For me the worst part of cockroaches or most invertebrates is that they are crawly. Even thinking about them crawling on me gives me chills. Watching them crawl around gives me that same response. My body doesn't like crawly things so cockroaches creep me out mostly cuz they are crawly like tgat

  23. I had two pet Madagascar hissing cockroaches when I was a kid and I loved them! I remember bringing them to school for show and tell once and being so surprised that my classmates didn't like them as much as I did.

  24. Its funny when its someones pet roach or a handler brings out a roach to handle I'm totally cool with it. But if its a roach that came out of my bathroom or got into my house some how more than anything I freak out over what crazy bacteria they might be carrying.

  25. Insects have to be my favorite species along with rodents <3
    I've wanted to have hissing roaches for a while now, but with the way my family freeks out when there's one in the kitchen…. it'll probably be awhile XD;

    This channel should have more subscribers!

  26. Interesting that allergy. I have it too. I definitely had no allergy to them a few months ago, when I bought them for the first time for my lizard and now I can`t even touch them, because I get horrible runny nose. Strange…

  27. How would you safely deal with cockroach pests? Is it possible to coax them outside without potentially dangerous pesticides?

  28. Cockroaches are pretty gross when they come in your bedroom and they are as big as an iphone… otherwise, I'd hold one.

  29. Rick: "Yeah… buurp We're pretty awesome. Hey, Morty, burp let's go show the bearded dragon what a real dinosaur looks like, eh Morty?"
    Sue: My name isn't Morty.

  30. Thank god someone who isn't petrified of cockroaches and your even allergic and still hang out with them that's just awesome!

  31. Well, I guess after Australia, Madagascar is added to my list of countries I will never go under no circumstances.

  32. i love all your videos but this one was absoloutly disgusting and i really hated this 🙁 i tried giving cockroaches a chance but……………..

  33. But what about other species of cockroaches( Like the Middle Eastern black ones that have wings and live in the sewage system).These ones you have talked about are not so bad… To look at I mean… I have a phobia of cockroaches, but I'm trying to find videos on the other kind of cockroaches… Thanks for sharing your knowledge and your work. all your videos are amazing 💕

  34. How come disgusting roaches live in cities and not in the country? Sad to say I never feel the slightest bit guilty when I kill one.

  35. How did you acquire an allergy cockroaches? Is possible for others to acquire the same allergy?

    I'm Asking because I wanted to see if I could make cockroaches into a Blatticomposting
    bin. It wouldn't do me any good if I suddenly became allergic to the compost. Do certain cockroaches not climb I live in an apartment and I don't want to catch it from my land lord. If they got out there be hell to pay.

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