DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of German cockroach head (Blattella germanica). Blattella germanica is a small species of cockroach called the German cockroach (family Blattellidae). The German cockroach is best identified by its small size and by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhoea, and other illnesses) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by German cockroaches. German cockroaches produce a larger number of eggs per capsule and they undergo the shortest time from hatching until sexual maturity, resulting in a rapid population growth. Cockroaches are among the most common of insects. Fossil evidence indicates that cockroaches have been on earth for over 300 million years. About 3,500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide, with 55 species found in the United States. Magnification: x16 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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