Madagascar hissing cockroach in exhibit

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Scientific Name

Gromphadorhina portentosa








Tropical rainforest floors

Estimated Wild Population

Madagascar hissing cockroach in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed IUCN Conservation Status: Not Listed

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Physical Description

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are large, wingless insects with a dark brown exoskeleton and orange markings on their abdomen. Males have large bumps or horns behind their head while females have smaller bumps. Like most cockroaches, they are nocturnal insects, hiding under debris or in tree bark during the day. Madagascar hissing cockroaches consume rotting plants, fallen fruit, and decaying animal matter on the forest floor. Females hatch 15–40 baby cockroaches, called nymphs, from eggs stored inside their body. The nymphs undergo approximately six molts before reaching maturity after about seven months.

Interesting Fact 1

Madagascar hissing cockroaches reach up to three inches long and are some of the largest cockroaches in the world.

Interesting Fact 2

Unique breathing holes allow them to produce a loud, snake-like hiss to startle predators, such as birds and mammals.

Interesting Fact 3

They use the large bumps behind their head as battering rams to fight other cockroaches.

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We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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