Wingless Wonders, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Posted by Beth Watson on

Wingless Wonders, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

I posted a picture of my pet Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches the other day & thought I might give you a few facts & some additional info about these neat little critters:

  • Each Madagascar Hissing Cockroach has its own characteristic sound, and they can distinguish between each other's hisses.
  • There is no odor associated with these cockroaches or their feces.
  • Dominant males show off by standing on their toes. This is called "stilting".
  • A female can produce up to 750 young in her lifetime!
  • These roaches have no wings.
  • They make the hissing noise by blowing air through holes on the sides of their bodies called spiracles. They make this sound when disturbed or during aggressive encounters with other cockroaches.
  • Males have two large bumps on their backs, which are called pronotal horns. They use these “horns” for fighting with other cockroaches, in the same way that deer use their antlers to fight.
  • They are considered "decomposers". This means they consume fallen fruit and decaying plant and animal matter. Mine love blackberries, but also eat leafy greens, catfood, and something called Bites for Roaches, which is a type of roach meal that has all the nutrients they need. They also need lots of fresh water to drink and to be misted with. They enjoy a cool dampening every couple of days.
  • In captivity, they can live anywhere from 2-3 years. 
  • You must have a special permit in certain U.S. states as they are considered an invasive species.

These roaches are so very interesting and there's so much more to learn about them. Here are some great sources for further info about them:


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