Ranking in at number 3 for the world’s largest known roach, it’s the Madagascar hissing cockroach. These beauties can be found in Madagascar, among the leaf litter and rotting logs of the rainforests and lowland forests. The heaviest roach, because I know you’re wondering, is the giant burrowing cockroach. The longest wingspan goes to Megaloblatta longipennis (up to 8 inches long)! There are approximately 20 known species of hissing cockroach.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Gromphadorhina portentosa
Weight: Up to 7/8th ounce
Length: Up to 3.5+ inches
Lifespan: Up to 5+ years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Males and females are differentiated by the prenatal humps on their head. Females lack these humps, also sometimes called horns.
2.) Even though cockroaches, as a whole, are considered scavengers, these are actually detritivores (eat decaying plant and animal matter).
3.) Madagascar hissing cockroaches eat rotting plants, fallen fruit, and decaying meat (like carrion).
4.) These cockroaches are often kept as pets. I know, I have some myself.
5.) When communicating, males will release a loud hissing sound. Small holes called spiracles on their backs that are typically used for breathing are also used to ward off predators. When they force air out of the specially modified spiracles quickly, it makes their telltale hissing sound. It is so loud that you can hear it across the room.
But wait, there’s more on the Madagascar hissing cockroach!
To view more facts on this and many other critters, purchase my book Rainforest Critters. It’s only $17.99 for an 84 page book! Available now through Amazon. Click the logo to purchase your copy now:
Now a Short Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Video!
Also, check out the Critter Science YouTube channel. Videos added frequently!
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