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The cockroach Panchlora nivea from the Caribbean
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The cockroach Panchlora nivea, from the Caribbean

July 2, 2010
Caribbean Cockroach A cockroach from the Caribbean that is also found in southern Florida. It has various common names like Cuban cockroach and green banana roach. The scientific name is Panchlora nivea. Adults are less than an inch long and are excellent flyers. This image was taken by David D. Yager, associate professor of integrative neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park. Research in Yagers lab particularly focuses on discovering how insect auditory systems are able to acquire and process acoustic information to yield complex, adaptive behaviors. Insects have evolved tympanate hearing many times, and Yagers lab uses the unique auditory system of the praying mantis as a model for auditory system evolution. These animals have a single cyclopean ear in the middle of their body that is sensitive exclusively to ultrasound. Neurophysiological projects in the lab have focused on several auditory interneurons and their role in processing and/or relaying information to the brain. Through comparative studies of other insects, the Yager lab hopes to understand the transition from earless to eared. The precursor structures to the ear itself have been identified in mantids' closest relatives, the cockroaches (earless). To learn more about Yager's research, visit his laboratory, Here. (Date of Image: 2005)