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Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

  • Order: Blattaria
  • Family: Blaberidae
  • Genus: Gromphadrhina
  • Species: portentosa
Fun Fact

Cockroaches play an important role in the nutrient cycle. Without them, the forest would smother and die from dead and decaying vegetation.

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    About Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

    Madagascar hissing cockroaches have a chocolate brown color with wide, dark orange bands on their abdomen segments. They are insects with six legs, but do not have any wings. They live in very large colonies. Madagascar hissing cockroaches live between 1-3 years. There average weight is 24 grams and around 3-4 inches in length.

    The hissing sound cockroaches make is from them quickly moving air through special valves in the segments of their abdomen. They hiss when disturbed or frightened. Cockroaches try to hide at all times.

    Madagascar hissing cockroaches are active only at night. Males are very territorial and will guard their territory from other males. If another male enters his territory, the defending male will use his horns to push the intruder out.

    Cockroaches are preyed upon by many birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and even other insects. There is also a parasite that feeds on their body called the cockroach mite.

    Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in the Wild


    Forest floors in the tropical rainforests.


    Island of Madagascar, off the southeastern coast of Africa.


    Madagascar hissing cockroaches are omnivores. They feed on rotting plants, fallen fruit and vegetables. They also feed on decaying animals on the forest floor.

    Population Status

    "Least concern."

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