The Science of Cockroach Legs

Roach legs are slender, spiny and jointed. They come in three pairs, each of which is attached to a segment of the roach’s thorax—the “torso” part of its body.

The three pairs of legs serve different purposes and, thus, have different names.

Right behind the head are the prothoracic legs, which the cockroach uses to slow itself down. They’re the shortest.

In the middle are the mesothoracic legs, which help the insect adjust its speed, speeding up or slowing down as needed.

At the rear are the metathoracic legs, the roach’s strong hind legs that propel it forward at speeds of up to 50 body lengths per second!

As a cockroach walks, it moves its middle leg on one side with the front and back legs on the opposite side. By alternating steps in this way, it gains incredible mobility on even the most difficult terrain.

By: Cockroach Facts

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