Cockroach Reproductive System Short Notes | Free Biology Notes

Cockroach Reproductive System Short Notes

In this article we will discuss about the cockroach reproductive system

Cockroach Reproductive system

  • All characters of sexual dimorphism in cockroach present in abdomen
  • In male, in addition of anal cerci, 9th sternum bears anal style (unjointed thread like) which are absent in females
  • Cockroach are sexual dimorphism. Male and female are separate.

Male Cockroach Reproductive System

  • The male cockroach reproductive system of cockroach consists of a pair of testes, vasa deferentia, an ejaculatory duct, utricular gland, phallic gland and external genitalia


  • A pair of three lobed testis located on lateral side in 4-6 abdominal segments
  • Testis produces sperms
  • Testes become non functional in old adults

Vasa deferentia

  • From each testis arises a thin thread-like tube is called vasa deferens
  • Both the vasa deferentia meet in the middle and open into an ejaculatory duct

Ejaculatory duct

  • Ejaculatory duct is an elongated wide duct
  • Opens out by male gonopore situated ventral to the anus

Mushroom gland or utricular

  • Large accessory reproductive gland
  • Mushroom gland is present in the 6th and 7th abdominal segments of male cockroach
  • Located at the junction of vasa deferentia with the ejaculatory duct
  • It has a three types of glandular tubules
    • Utriculi majores: peripheral long tubules
    • Utriculi breviores: small short central tubules
    • Seminal vesicles: behind the short central tubules are some short but more bulbous tubules filled with sperms
  • Function of these gland is forms inner layer of spermatophore and nourishment to the sperms

Phallic or conglobate gland

  • Long and club-shaped accessory gland
  • Phallic duct open by a separate aperture
  • Involved in the formation of the spermatophore

External genitalia

  • Surrounding the male genital pore in the genital pouch there are three chitinous plates called phallomeres
  • The phallomeres together constitute the phallic organs or gonapophyses
  • These organ help for copulation


  • Sperm produced in testes are stored in seminal vesicle
  • All sperms released from seminal vesicles glued together to form a ball called sperm ball
  • Long tubules of mushroom gland secrete a membrane around sperm ball called spermatophore
  • Small tubules secrete a nutritive fluid in spermatophore
  • At the time of copulation spermatophore enters into ejaculatory duct
  • Ejaculatory duct secrete another coat on spermatophore and hence it becomes double layered
  • When it is released outside from male genital pore then phallic gland secretes another layer, so spermatophore becomes three layered
  • They are finally discharged during copulation

Female Cockroach Reproductive System


  • One pair of ovaries are situated in 2nd to 6th segments
  • Each ovary consists of 8 blind ovarian tubules or ovarioles
  • Inside ovarioles series of ova are situated in an acropetal order


  • Ovarioles of ovary unite to form short and wide lateral oviduct
  • Two lateral oviducts join to form a median common oviduct or vagina in the 7th segment


  • Posterior wider part of the common oviduct
  • Vagina opens into a large genital pouch by female genital pore on the 8th sternum

Genital pouch

  • Genital pouch is formed by the 7th, 8th and 9th sternites
  • Genital pouch can be divided into two parts
  • Genital chamber: anterior part containing female gonopore and pores of spermathecae and collateral glands
  • Vestibulum: larger posterior part in which ootheca is formed

Collaterial glands

  • A pair of branched accessory reproductive gland
  • These glands open into the genital pouch by two separate openings
  • The secretion of collateral glands helps in the formation of ootheca


  • A pair of unequal sized spermatheca are associated with genital chamber
  • Spermathecae opens into the genital chamber on a small spermathecal papilla
  • Responsible for receiving, maintaining, and releasing sperm to fertilize eggs

External genitalia of female

  • Situated between the female genital pore and anus inside the genital pouch there are 3 pairs of chitinous plate like structures called gonapophyses or pallomeres
  • These gonapophyses help in copulation, egg-laying and in the formation of ootheca.


  • Breeding season from march to september
  • The females secrete sex attracting scent from their scent glands called pheromones or ectohormones
  • Male perceive the smell of this scent with help of antennae
  • First the male gets under female, extends his hooked phallomere into the female genital chamber
  • Sperms are transferred through spermatophores
  • Spermatophore remains inside the body of the female for about 20 hours
  • During this period all its sperms escape out and fill in the two spermathecae
  • Sixteen ova are discharged at a time into the genital pouch
  • Simultaneously, sperms stored in the spermathecae are also discharged into the genital pouch to fertilize the ova


  • Fertilization is internal
  • Fertilized eggs become hardened by the secretion of colleterial glands, which hardens to form an ootheca
  • Ootheca is a dark reddish to blackish brown capsule
  • They are dropped or glued to a suitable surface
  • Development of egg takes place inside ootheca
  • Development is indirect, meaning there is development through nymphal stage
  • The nymphs look very much like adults, the nymph grows by moulting about 13 times to reach the adult form.
  • Nymph changes into an adult in 1 year

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