About This Animal
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a large species of cockroach, measuring 2–3 inches long and weighing up to 0.8 ounces. They are brown and yellow in color with a shiny exoskeleton and a lighter-hued abdomen. These insects are wingless and have one set of antennae.
These cockroaches are known for the hissing sound they make by exhaling air through their breathing holes, which is an unusual way for invertebrates to make sound. The sound is used in mating rituals and as an alarm cry. They tend to live in forests and are more active at night, when they do most of their scavenging. Unlike most cockroach species, they do not live in human dwellings and are not considered pests.
The species lives in colonies and have a life span of two to five years. Males can be aggressive to one another, ramming into each other with their horns. Winners hiss more than losers, which may indicate that the hissing helps determine hierarchies inside their colonies. Females bear live young; they create a cocoon-like egg case, an ootheca, to carry eggs and neonatal nymphs simultaneously within their bodies. They can birth 60 offspring at one time.
Current population trends regarding Madagascar hissing cockroaches are unknown.
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