You may remember that in October I reported the birth of roaches in space–now there’s an update:

“VORONEZH, January 17 (RIA Novosti) – Cockroaches conceived in space onboard the Russian Foton-M bio satellite have developed faster and become hardier than ‘terrestrial’ ones, a research supervisor said on Thursday.

The research team has been monitoring the cockroaches since they were born in October. The scientists established that their limbs and bodies grew faster.

“What is more, we have found out that the creatures… run faster than ordinary cockroaches, and are much more energetic and resilient,” Dmitry Atyakshin said.”Zombie Roach

It seems from the article the observed changes weren’t permanent. Or, perhaps, they need a larger sample size?

Way too little details here to judge, but the prospect of radioactive mutant zombie space roaches is tantalizing…..

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Hmmm, I have less than fond memories of leaving work one hot and humid night in a tropical part of Australia, wading my way through swirling miasma to the accompaniment of chirps, crunches and squelches.

    When the murk swirled away at one point, all was revealed. Thousands and thousands of very, very large roaches.

    I normally find bugs quite interesting, but a heaving, swirling, writhing mass of them spread out across the footpath was more than a little disturbing – especially late at night with only occasional pools of sodium light from the street lamps.

    If they had been radioactive, mutant, zombie roaches I think I’d have been screaming “flamethrower, get me a flamethrower”.

    For me at least, there is such a thing as “too many bugs”.

  2. Anthropocentrists like to think that humans are the pinnacle of evolution. I like to remind them that insects have been around way longer, and will undoubtedly be around way longer as well.


  3. Starship troopers was a prophecy! I knew it!

  4. Years ago I spent some time in a small village in southern Mexico. The roaches there were huge. Very impressive. If it had ever come about that I would be forced to wrestle with one of those suckers, I’m sure the roach would have emerged victorious. Blek!

  5. I was so busy describing being grossed out, that I forgot to say what the roaches were. They were probably Macropanesthia rhinoceros – wingless roaches that grow upwards of 2 inches long (some are recorded in excess of 3in) and weigh more than an ounce. The ones I saw were definitely wingless and in that size range.

    Of course, the amazing thing is that you don’t normally see that many. They’re all hidden away under the ground and in cracks and crevices. It makes you wonder just how many roaches are out there…

  6. it’s the really big winged roaches that are the worst–they just land on you with a thump, and then scurry around.

    Even bug girl can be squicked by some bugs….

  7. Grasshoppers. I HATES grasshoppers.

    Although driving a mowing tractor back and forth all day and getting thumped all over by a hundred splatting, jowly, bug-eyed monsters did sort of wear off a lot of the fear factor.

    But ‘hoppers are still gross.


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