Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

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Other common names: Giant Hissing Cockroach; Madagascar Hissing Beetle; Hissing Cockroach; Hisser; Hissing Roach; Hissing Beetle; Maddies

Scientific name: Gromphadorhina portentosa

The basics:
The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is one of the largest species of cockroach, and is native to the island of Madagascar, where it is commonly found in rotting wood. Gromphadorhina portentosa are wingless, and are characterized by the hissing sound they make when disturbed, aggressive or when attracting a mate.

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is a docile insect and is easily bred. It does not bite, and is commonly kept both as a pet, and as a feeder insect for captive reptiles like lizards as well as pet tarantulas.

Appearance / health:
The Hissing Cockroach is one of the largest species of roaches, reaching 2–3 inches at maturity. They are a dark reddish brown to black color, with a hard exoskeleton and no wings.

Behavior / temperament:
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are hardy and docile and can easily be handled. They do not bite, do not fly, and do not move quickly. This makes them very good for beginners.

A 10-15 gallon tank can comfortably house dozens of adult hissing cockroaches if stacked egg crates are utilized. Be sure to use a secure screen lid as they can climb glass and fit through small holes.

Being tropical, Hissing cockroaches do best if kept a bit above room temperature. This can be anywhere from 75-90F. Provide some hiding places, which can be as simple as cardboard rolls from toilet paper, pieces of cardboard egg cartons, cork bark, driftwood, and small cardboard boxes. Substrate can be bran, aspen chips, or sand about 2-3 inches deep.

Cockroaches are omnivorous which means they can eat virtually any type of food you want to give them. The best way to keep your pet healthy is to provide a wide and varied diet. Some options for food are cornflakes cereal, apples, peaches, bananas, lettuce, carrots, and high quality dog food may be offered as well. Try to vary the diet from week to week and change the ingredients. For best results you should put the food in a shallow dish and put it in a corner. They have a limited requirement for water as most of it will come from the food but you can add another smaller dish containing a wad of wet cotton wool or even buy the water gels that are available for crickets. This will prevent them from drowning and will provide water if needed.

If you have a colony of hissing roaches, or a few inside a tank, they should breed readily without any extra work. However, if they do not breed, make sure there are definitely both males and females and that the temperatures are not too low. They will not breed if temperatures are off. These roaches are easy to breed and females can have about 3 broods a year, producing 20-50 young at a time. This species of cockroach doesn't lay eggs. Instead it produces an egg case which is kept within the body until the eggs begin to hatch. It will then give birth to live, white cockroaches that will darken over the following day. The males of this species can be distinguished from the female as the male has a 'horn' or raised bump on the front of its head, the female lacks this.


fascinating pets, excellent feeder insect, fun scare factor, feeder insects, tame, entertaining


squeamish, traumatic experience, loud, creepy crawly bugs, great escape artist, hissing noise


nocturnal, little cardboard houses, orange exoskeleton, incredible breeders, periodic duels

Helpful Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Review

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

From BhuvanaMcGoats Jun 2 2015 10:20AM


Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Health Tip

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

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