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Anatomy of a Cockroach

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Anatomy of a Cockroach - Lesson Summary

Anatomical features of cockroach  alimentary canal,  blood vascular, respiratory, excretory, nervous and reproductive systems.

The alimentary canal is divided into foregut, midgut and hindgut. The entire foregut consists of  mouth, pharynx  and oesophagus. The oesophagus opens into crop, it is followed by a  gizzard. The midgut is followed by the hindgut, which is divided into ileum, colon and rectum. The rectum opens out through anus.

Cockroaches have an open blood vascular system. Heart is a long muscular tube present dorsally, which is differentiated into funnel shaped chambers with ostia on either side. These insects also possess sinuses in their body. The haemolymph from these sinuses enters the heart through ostia and is pumped back into the sinuses anteriorly.

The respiratory system consists of trachea that opens to the exterior through 10 pairs of spiracles, which are located on the lateral side of the body.  The tracheas are further divided into thin tracheoles which supply oxygen to all the parts of the body. Gaseous exchange in these tracheoles takes place through diffusion.

Excretory system in cockroaches consists of malpighian tubules situated at the junction of the midgut and hindgut. Each tubule absorb nitrogenous wastes from the body and convert them into uric acid. As cockroaches excrete uric acid, they are known as uricotelic animals. Apart from malpighian tubules, the fat body, nephrocytes and urecose glands also help in excretion.

The nervous system in  cockroach consists of a series of ganglia in each segment, which are attached to a ventral nerve cord and a brain.  There are three thoracic ganglia and six abdominal ganglia. In the head, the supra-oesophageal ganglion represents the brain, which supplies nerves to the antennae and the compound eyes.  Cockroaches  have many sensory organs such as antennae, eyes, maxillary and labial palps and anal cerci. The head bears a pair of large compound eyes.

Cockroaches are unisexual.  The male reproductive system consists of two testes, from which arises   vas deferens , which open into the ejaculatory duct, which further opens into the male gonopore. Sperms are stored in seminal vesicles, which are discharged during copulation.  The female reproductive system consists of two large ovaries, each ovary consists of eight ovarioles containing developing ova. From each ovary arises an oviduct, which joins to form a single common vagina. After copulation, the female cockroach secretes a capsule called an ootheca, which contains the fertilised eggs. In Periplaneta americana the development of the insect is paurometabolous. 

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