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Why our cockroaches might drool on us


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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000529

Basically,cockroaches were classically conditioned to drool when presented with a smell they associated with a reward.

I wondered if my roaches were drooling on me because they favored me rather than being afraid. They could be associating us with a delicious reward. I've been drooled on twice with two different species. It was the same behavior both times.

A roach would put its mouthparts on my fingers and drool excessively.

I thought it was an interesting study and idea.

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Why? Do you feed them when you handle them?

Unless there's a positive stimulus they can associate with being picked up they're just doing it because they're scared. My roaches drool more often when handled roughly than when handled gently.

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I think they drool for more than one reason. Defense didn't make sense to me because mine stop moving when they do that. They don't hiss or try to run. It's usually with a new cockroach that hasn't been held before.

Vomiting and drooling aren't the same thing. Are grasshoppers vomiting or drooling?

I watched a question mark leave a little bubble of drool on a stick in the tank while she was wandering.

I'm just curious about it. It's probably a number of reasons why they drool. Stress makes sense too, but not as a predator deterrent.

Maybe it's somehow tied with making a new memory? Like drooling is a bookmark of some kind?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmmmmmmmm, if they do associate you with food, it would be a conditioned response (like previously mentioned) for them getting ready to eat food. If it's usuall only the first time a roach is handled that it happened that implies that roaches are much better at learning than Pavlov's shepherds!

Of course it could be both, but i like the idea of association of food with the hand of the feeder:)

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