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A Roach Coach A catering truck, especially one which frequents blue collar places of work; generally a modified pickup truck with insulated diamond-pattern doors covering a refrigerator case and a warmer unit with attached griddle.

This Roach Coach Page is just  fun and fascinating information about roaches. Take some time to read this stuff, You'll certainly gain respect if not admiration for them.





Common Names

The word cockroach possibly comes from the Spanish 'Cucaracha'. Like all creatures that bring themselves regularly to Mankind's attention Cockroaches have acquired a large number of common names, such as 'lucifaga' because of their habitat of fleeing the light. In Sweden they were known as 'Brotaetare' or 'Bread Eaters', In the U.K. the various pest species have been called 'Steambug', 'Steamfly' and 'Shiner'. In America they are known as 'Yankee Settlers', 'Croton Bugs' or 'Bombay Canaries' depending on where you are. More humorously Blattella germanica known as the 'German Cockroach' here is known as the 'Russian Cockroach' or the 'French Cockroach' in different parts of Germany and as the 'Prussian Cockroach' in Russia, while the 'American Cockroach' Periplaneta americana and the 'Australian Cockroach' Periplaneta australasiae both probably originated in Africa and not in the countries indicated by their common names.

There are nearly 4,000 species of Cockroaches (Dictyoptera, Blattodea) in the world, of which only 25 to 30 (or less than 1%) have any pest status, the rest are innocent members of the Earth's fauna, some of which are clean living, non-aggressive and slow moving, and as such make great pets. The largest known Cockroaches in the world are (largest wingspan up to 18 cm) Megaloblatta longipennis, largest body, Macropanesthia rhinocerus from Australia weighing in at up to 50 grams. The smallest known is Attaphilla fungicola which lives in the nests of Leaf Cutter ants of the genus Atta in North America and feeds on the fungus they farm, it is about 4 mm long.

Nature Science update
Female cockroaches prefer males at the bottom of the social pecking order, and dominant males try and stop them from having their way. But when females do get the low-ranking man of their dreams, they produce fewer sons, apparently in an effort to avoid passing on his wimpishness

the laboratory cockroach, Nauphoeta cinerea. These animals usually reproduce sexually. But in times of crisis when males are scarce, females can reproduce by a process known as 'parthenogenesis'. They can produce offspring-all female-with no help from males.

"Cockroaches are considered one of the most successful groups of animals," says Steven Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "Because they are so adaptable, cockroaches have adjusted to living with humans much more readily than humans have adjusted to living with them."

Cockroaches thrive in nearly every corner of the globe, despite our best attempts to eliminate them.
Penn State Agricultural information services

Why is it almost impossible to squish a cockroach before it shoots out of sight behind the refrigerator while it is often quite easy to zap it with the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner?
The answer, Dr Hananel Davidowitz of the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, N.J., says, is that the jet-propelled bug thinks with its behind.
The cockroach, he says, is able to sense minute changes in the air flowing round its body using tiny hairs on two posterior appendages called “cerci”—and that includes your foot coming down. Signals from those hairs feed into a group of 14 vital nerve cells which process the information. The result—now you see it, now you don’t.

Confused by Vacuum
The vacuum cleaner, however, has even smart roaches fooled.
“If a vacuum cleaner approaches from behind a cockroach, the wind goes from its head to the nozzle. It thinks the attack is from the front and it turns round and runs straight into the nozzle,” the scientist says.
Cockroaches have also developed interesting ways of ensuring that their young make it to adulthood. Most species give birth to live young — highly unusual for insects — but a sure way to prevent other critters from feeding on their eggs.
And if food is scarce, adolescent cockroaches can live on a very reliable resource — their parents’ feces.
The Madagascar cockroach can reach the ripe old age of seven and produces less than 20 eggs during that long life span.
Cockroaches and "The Bomb"
You've probably heard the story about cockroaches surviving a nuclear war: we die but they live! This is supposed to make you feel better when you have trouble getting rid of these critters.
So, the real truth: radiologists have found that humans can safely withstand a one-time exposure of 5 rems (A "rem" is the dosage of radiation that will cause a specific, measured amount of injury to human tissue). A lethal dose is 800 rems or more (people are exposed to about 16 rems during their lifetime).

Insect researchers have found that cockroaches can tolerate a much higher dose -- really higher! The lethal dose for the American cockroach is 67,500 rems and for the German cockroach it is between 90,000 and 105,000 rems (yikes!). In truth the amount of radiation that cockroaches can withstand is equivalent to that of a thermonuclear explosion.

Run for Your Lives!
The world's largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan.

Roaches By the Numbers
6 -- Number of legs on a cockroach
18 -- Number of knees on most cockroaches (at least!)
40-- Number of minutes cockroaches can hold their breath
75 -- Percentage of time that cockroaches spend just resting (how lazy can you get?)
5,000 -- Number of species of cockroaches worldwide
280 million+ -- Years ago that cockroaches are thought to have originated (during the Carboniferous era)

Bad News
Some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives (bummer).

The Legend of the Headless Cockroach
image-roachA cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst.

Wanna Race?
Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour. (Hey, it's no marathon, but it's not bad.)

Better Check Those Cracks in the Wall
Young cockroaches need only a crack as thin as a dime (about .5mm wide) to crawl into. Adult males can squeeze into a space of 1.6mm or the thickness of a quarter. Pregnant females need the most space to hide: 4.5mm or a space as tall as two stacked nickels.

Little Hearts
A cockroach heart is nothing but a simple tube with valves. The tube can pump blood backwards and forwards in the insect. The heart can even stop moving without harming the roach.

Thirsty Critters
Roaches can live without food for a month, but will only survive a week without water.

When Cold, Roaches Snuggle
Most species of roaches live in the tropics. But roaches live all over the world, including the North and South Poles. Pest cockroaches can withstand temperatures as cold as 32F (0C), but will die if the temperature goes much below that. In extremely cold places, however, they survive by moving in with humans. (Hey, quit hogging the covers!)

Better Than Air Jordans!
Cockroaches can climb walls because they are equipped with a set of little claws on their feet designed for that very purpose.

Crushed-Roach Bandages?
Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging wound to help relieve the pain.

Smell You Later
Sniff, sniff...oh, it's just Uncle Leo. Roaches use their feelers, or antennae, as noses. Their sense of smell is so great, they recognize family and friends by their distinctive odors.

Roach Perfume
Female roaches attract male roaches by producing pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that make the female roach smell REALLY good to the males roach.

Alright Kids, Beat It!
Some female cockroaches incubate their egg cases in their bodies until they are ready to hatch. These babies stay with their mothers a day or two after they are born.

Male cockroaches transfer sperm to females in a "gift-wrapped" package called a spermatophore. Some males cover the package in a protein-rich wrapping that the female can eat to obtain nutrients to raise her young. Delicious!



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