Cockroach’s in their usual form are bad enough, almost unstoppable with the ability to thrive in any environment across the world. There are many that believe that in the event of a nuclear global attack, these insects will be the only creature to survive. They are a problem because they reproduce at an alarming rate, they feed on almost anything and will leave a definite odour.
South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park
However, a new cockroach as been discovered, much more terrifying than the ones the majority of the people are aware off. Scientists have just discovered a jumping cockroach, which is one-fifth legs and is able to jump a considerable and for many a worrying distance.
The insect was discovered in South Africa, by University of Cape Town professor Mike Picker and a former student called Jonathan Colville. Both had been in the Silvermine Nature Reserve in South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park.
They were lucky to have found the insect since they had originally gone to catch long-tongue flies in sedge meadows, this was in 2006. When they had first caught the insect their initial impression was that it was a cricket, but not exactly like the ones they were familiar with.
After much research and studying they found that it was a cockroach that was much closer to the common German type, the interesting point was that it had grasshopper-like features. These included much more muscular hind legs which measurements showed made up 20% of its body, bulging eyes which provided a wider view and rough-padded ‘toes’ to help with traction.
The one very strange fact about this cockroach is that it lives in close proximity to grasshoppers, living almost side by side with them on grass stems. Moreover, it feeds on grasshopper droppings, which probably explains why it remains in close distance to them.
Leap 50 times its own body length
The most worrying feature of this insect is its ability to jump, and measurements which have been taken have showed that it can leap 50 times its own body length. Other figures have shown that this is much better than locusts, who are only able to jump 20 times their own body length.
The men that discovered the cockroach have named it ‘leaproach’, at the moment it is not a threat to any other country as the species list has stated that it is native to the Western Cape Province in South Africa.