Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhinini spp.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach - Gromphadorhina portentosa
Photo © Andrew Clark 2013

Description: All 20 recognized species of hissing cockroach occur on or near Madaga- scar. However, their identification can be dif- ficult and it is questionable how many valid forms exist. Gromphadorhina portentosa is normally the name used in captivity, but several other species are also considered to be common captives.

Range: Madagascar and Europa. Most species probably have very restricted ranges and habitats.

Habitat: reportedly associated with rotting logs in moist tropical forest.

Wild: described either as vegetation or leaf debris [aka “detritus” or “litter”].
Zoo: mixed fruit and vegetables.

Reproduction: ovoviviparous, the female laying an egg capsule which is transfered to an internal brood pouch. Eggs hatch internally and are birthed in about 60 days.

Fun fact: While cockroaches are generally perceived as fast-moving household pests, many species are only found in natural habitats. Hissing cockroaches of Madagascar are among these, being normally found in forests. In addition, they’re slow- moving and normally respond to disturbance by standing their ground, tilting their horned heads toward the disturbance, and hissing loudly! In captivity, they tend to stop hissing as they become used to contact with their keepers.