Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

STATUSLeast Concern

COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Gromphadorina portentosa

DIETDecaying plant or animal matter

RANGEIsland of Madagascar

HABITATRiverbanks, logs, trees, and the floor of tropical rainforests

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

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Physical Description

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is a reddish-brown or black, oval-shaped insect that is wingless and has a pair of antennae. They can grow to be 2-4 inches long. Males have large horns, noticeable humps, and bushier antennae than the females


Predators they may encounter include arachnids, reptiles, and smaller mammals.


They have an average lifespan of 2-5 years.


Males will compete for females by battling and hissing. After mating, the female creates a cocoon-like egg case called an ootheca and use this to carry their eggs inside of their body. They hatch after about 60 days and dozens of nymphs will be born.

Fun Facts

  • Males will use their large horns to battle each other in aggressive displays.
  • This species live in large colonies and will hiss to warn the rest of the colony of any potential threats.

Conservation Messaging

In our Reptile and Amphibian (RAD) center you will find many different reptiles and amphibians including venomous and poisonous species of snakes and frogs. Many of these animals fall victim to habitat loss in the wild. Many of the species here are found in South American habitats which are subjected to deforestation, damming of rivers, water pollution, and poor agricultural and management practices.

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