Gromphadorhina protentosa

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Herbivore: Eats mainly plants and fruit

Geography: From the island of Madagascar

Habitat: Hollow logs on forest floors

Interesting facts:

  • Males have horns which they use in aggressive encounters
  • When a cockroach has won a fight their hissining will last longer than their opponent’s which helps develop roach hierarchy
  • They serve an important role in the ecosystem as they break down forest debris
  • They have small holes on their backs called spiracles which allow them to breathe and release their unique hissing sound
  • Females hold their eggs in an ootheca (cocoon-like structure) inside their bodies
  • Hissing cockroaches have chewing mouthparts, but they are not strong enough to chew your finger
  • The spines help the cockroach cling to different surfaces and offer some protection from predators
A close-up photo of two big Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, scientifically known as Gromphadorhina portentosa. The cockroaches have dark brown exoskeletons with ridges and bumps, and their long antennae and distinctive horns on their thorax are visible in the image.