Madagascar hissing cockroach in exhibit

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Scientific Name
Gromphadorhina portentosa
Geographic Range
Fruit and other plant materials
Madagascar hissing cockroach in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed

More Information

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a large insect species that measures between 2–3 inches long and weighs up to 0.8 ounces on average. They are brown and yellow with a shiny exoskeleton. A honey-colored abdomen, at their back end, is the lightest part of their body, while the head is the darkest. Males have larger horns than females.

These animals live in colonies and are active scavengers at night in the forests they live in. Males can be aggressive toward one another. The females bear live young. They create an ootheca, a cocoon-like egg case, that carries their eggs and neonatal nymphs inside their bodies. Up to 60 nymphs can be born to one mother at a time.

Did You Know?

  • Madagascar hissing cockroaches are wingless and have one set of antennae.
  • These cockroaches are not pests. They do not inhabit human dwellings.
  • Madagascar hissing cockroaches are known for the hissing sound they make by exhaling air through their breathing holes. Most invertebrates make noise by rubbing body parts together or using vibrating membranes, so this is unusual. Their hiss is an alarm cry and used in mating and aggressive encounters between males.


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