Elvis monkeys, psychedelic geckos, and now a jumping cockroach. A cockroach that jumps, called the leaproach, was recently discovered in South Africa by entomologists at the University of Cape Town.
According to a report in Biology Letters, the recently discovered insect doesn’t scuttle like a roach. Instead, it leaps like a grasshopper.
The report reads:
“We report on a newly discovered cockroach from South Africa, which jumps and therefore differs from all other extant cockroaches that have a scuttling locomotion.”
NPR reports that despite the fact that a leaproach is less than an inch big, it can travel more than 20 inches in a single jump, which is more than 50 times its body length.
Here’s a video of the leaproach in action.
The Global Post reports that the leaproaches hind legs are twice the length of its other legs and make up for more than 10% of its body weight.
Dr. Mike Picker, an entomologist at the University of Cape Town, told the New York Times:
“The knee of the hind legs contains the elastic protein resilin. This probably restores the shape of the leg, which is bent during the forces of jumping. (The leaproach) outcompetes locusts, which can only manage to jump 20 times body length.”
Are you bothered by bugs? Is the leaproach the new subject of your nightmares?