Cockroach That Jumps: Jumping Cockroach Saltoblattella Montistabularis Found In South Africa (Video)

By on Dec 15, 2011 in Africa, Science, Weird, World Comments
Cockroach That Jumps
Cockroach That Jumps
Saltoblattella Montistabularis

Image Credit: Video Screenshot

A cockroach that jumps called the leaproach (Saltoblattella montistabularis) has been discovered in South Africa. The cockroach reportedly jumps 48 times the length of its body which differs from all other extant cockroaches that have a scuttling locomotion, as reported by international news sites on December 14, 2011.

The cockroach’s ability to jump is possible because its legs were specifically built for jumping and it has a sturdy antennae that help stabilize the insect at it leaps, according to National Geographic’s article.

The jumping cockroach was found by a zoologist at the University of Cape Town, Mike Picker with his colleagues while they were hunting for a fly larvae in the Table Mountain nature reserve.

“I noticed these very strange jumping animals, which I initially thought might be a type of grasshopper. But knowing the insects quite well, we soon realized what a spectacular find we had,” Mike Picker told CBC Radio’s As It Happens.

Dr. Picker told the New York Times that “the knee of the hind legs of the cockroach contains the elastic protein resilin that probably restores the shape of the leg, which is bent during the forces of jumping.”

Here is a video of the jumping cockroach captured in slow motion. The video was uploaded in YouTube on December 6. 2011 and has earned 35,552 views as of this posting.

Cockroach that jumps in slow motion
Footage courtesy of Malcolm Burrows & Mike Picker

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