The answer to the question, “Do cockroaches have eyes?” is a resounding “yes.” Although their eyesight is primitive, the lenses in cockroaches are extremely sophisticated and provide them with excellent 360-degree vision. Despite this, their eyes also have some limitations.
Cockroaches have compound eyes, which consist of more than two thousand hexagonal facets. Each hexagonal facets is a photoreceptor. These individual photoreceptors are connected to a nerve called the optic nerve. This process allows cockroaches to see even in near-pitch-black environments.
Cockroaches can detect light by focusing on light rays. However, this process requires light to activate the compound eyes. When compound eyes are covered, the cockroach does not respond to light. The ocelli may be used as a switch to control behavior when the ambient light is low.
Cockroaches have many functions and are extremely effective at concealment. Their eyes are very sensitive and can detect movement. Their 360-degree vision also allows them to evade predators. If you observe a cockroach, you will notice that they have eyes that are near the top of their head.
Cockroaches have three types of neurons in their eyes. The first type of neurons, called L-neurons, terminate in the ocellar tract. These neurons synapse with third-order neurons that then connect to the lobula and medulla. Finally, they receive sensory information from the compound eye through the ocellar nerve.