A cute looking cockroach that can roll into a ball
Taken at night in Singapore
Here's how it look like when roll into a ball farm8.staticflickr.com/7010/65…
Cockroaches (order Blattodea) are a group of largely omnivorous insects with incomplete metamorphosis which together with the carnivorous praying mantids (order Mantodea) form the superorder Dictyoptera. It is thought that cockroaches split from the common ancestor they shared with the mantids during the Lower Cretaceous about 140 million years ago. The cockroach-like species ("roachoids") with external ovipositors (egg laying tubes) which existed before this split, originated as far back as the Upper Carboniferous period some 315 million years ago. Recent studies (e.g., Inward, Beccaloni & Eggleton, 2007; Eggleton, Beccaloni & Inward, 2007) have shown that the termites are actually a lineage of cockroaches (epifamily Termitoidae) and not a separate order of insects as previously thought. Termites are most closely related to the wood-feeding cockroaches of the genus Cryptocercus, with which they share many structural characters and behavioural traits. Although termites are cockroaches we are only concerned here with the six families of 'true' cockroaches: Nocticolidae, Polyphagidae, Blattidae, Cryptocercidae, Blattellidae and Blaberidae.
To date approximately 4,500 cockroach species have been named and there are probably at least twice this number still to be discovered worldwide. Although most species are found in the tropics a few occur in temperate regions. There are about 130 native European cockroaches and, perhaps surprisingly, new species are still being discovered in this well studied region.
Regrettably most people seem to regard all cockroaches as offensive and destructive vermin. However, this reputation is deserved by less than 30 species (< 1% of the total) - the vast majority being secretive insects which never associate with man. As a group cockroaches exhibit a remarkable diversity of size, form, coloration and behaviour and occupy a very wide range of habitats from caves to mountains, from rainforests to deserts.
The most unusual parental care is exhibited by species in the blaberid subfamilies Epilamprinae and Perisphaerinae. Thorax porcellana, a species of the former subfamily from India, carries its young (i.e. nymphs) under its domed forewings for their first two instars. The nymphs obtain liquid food from specialized pores on the upper surface of their mother's abdomen and they also pierce her cuticle with their specialized sharp mandibles and feed on her blood (haemolymph)! Species of the genus Perisphaerus (Perisphaerinae) from South-East Asia and Australasia have a somewhat similar mother-offspring relationship. When the nymphs are born they are white, blind and have strange tube-like mouthparts, which are unique amongst cockroaches. The mother has four apertures at the bases of her mid- and hind legs into which the mouthparts of the nymphs exactly fit and the nymphs are believed to suck up a nutrient 'milk' from these pores. The nymphs cling beneath the mother's body for the first two instars and only in the third instar do they develop normal eyes and body pigmentation.