Female Cockroaches Form Squads to Block Male Mating Attempts
By Hannah Sparks
Ladies have to look out for each other. Even roaches know that.
A new study of Pacific beetle cockroaches in the journal Ethology revealed some surprising feminist tendencies among the insects: In mixed-sex groups, females cluster together to stave off unwanted mating advances from males.
The bigger the female huddle, the fewer attempts males made. But the method wasn’t foolproof: In groups when males were in the majority, female roaches were more likely to be “harassed.”
Female cockroaches might be resistant to hookups because they can store sperm for future use, which makes regular mating — often injurious to females — biologically unnecessary, study author Christina Stanley explains to Scientific American.
Even outside the threat of mating, female cockroaches were generally more social with each other than with the males. Adds Stanley, “Female [roaches] created this better social environment by excluding the males” — something that will come as no surprise to many human women.