Length of Copulation

The length of copulation is variable in cockroaches, both within and between species. In successful matings, the male and female commonly remain in the linear position for 50-90 min, but length can vary with male age, the time since his last mating, and his social status. The shortest recorded copulations are in the well-studied N. cinerea. A male's first copulation is his shortest, ranging from 9.5 (Moore and Breed, 1986) to 17 (Roth, 1964b) min. Dominant males of this species copulate significantly longer than do their subordinates (Moore and Breed, 1986; Moore, 1990). If males 14-15 days old are consecutively mated to a series of females, they remain in copula 22 min during the first mating, 100 in the second, and 141 in the third (Roth, 1964b). The most extended matings reported from natural settings are those of Xesto-blatta hamata, where copulation in the rainforest may last for up to 5 hr (Schal and Bell, 1982), and Polyzosteria lim-bata, where copulation occurs in daylight and pairs sometimes remain linked for over 24 hr (Mackerras, 1965a).

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