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invertebrates

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa

No Wings!

Shiny, brown, wingless oval looking bugs. The males have horns to battle each other and unleash hisses.

About the Species

Large and In Charge

Originally from the island of Madagascar, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are one of the largest cockroaches. The hissing sound comes from sporicles, or tiny holes, along the roach's exoskeleton. They release air through these holes to mimic a hissing sound, which often scares predators, such as birds, away because it mimics the sound of a snake! Males and females are easily identified—males have horns on their head used for fighting.

Words From the Experts

Quotes

These guys have great adaptations for climbing since they don't have wings! They have small, claw-shaped "hooks" on their feet for grasping surfaces so they can climb vertically or even hang upside down!

Madison

Madison

Facts

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Origin

Island of Madagascar

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Habitat

Forest floors among logs and debris

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Size

2–3 inches

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Diet

Fruits or other plants

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Predators

Birds, snakes

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Natural Defenses

Size, hissing, horns

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Reproduction

As many as 60 young roaches at a time

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Status

Least Concern

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Life Expectancy

2–5 years

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums
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