Cockroaches reproduce sexually by transferring sperm to the female through the spermatophore. The female then stores the sperm in a spermathecae. The sperm in the female cockroach is relatively long-lived, ranging from a few days to several months. Most species will then mate again to maintain fertility.
The behavior is similar to nuptial feeding but differs from sexual cannibalism. The female will feed on the male’s wing post-sex. This may have some benefits for the females, including the increased chance of a larger number of offspring. In this way, cockroaches may benefit from being in groups of many.
Cockroaches can produce as many as three batches of fertilized eggs from just one mating. They also store the sperm in an internal storage area and use it as needed. Female cockroaches have paired ovaries consisting of ovarioles, which are strings of maturing oocytes. Unlike humans, however, cockroach eggs must be mature in the ovary before they can mate. The eggs also need a certain amount of water.
Cockroaches mate in a variety of ways, and their mating rituals vary from species to species. However, they share some common traits, such as a preference for a protein-rich diet. As with humans, males need protein in their diets to maintain good quality sperm. They also need protein to support the growth of their eggs and embryos.