American cockroach. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of an American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). The cockroach has long antennae, compound eyes, and biting and chewing mouthparts. The segmented maxillary and labial palps are seen here (centre). They are used for taste, smell, and manipulation of food. American cockroaches have worldwide distribution. They live in homes and buildings where food can be scavenged, hiding during the day and emerging at night to feed. They are considered pests, giving an area a foul smell as well as carrying bacteria and viruses. Magnification: x30 printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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