Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Gromphadorrhina portentosa

Lindsay Wildlife is home to a colony of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. As the name implies, these are not native to California. Unlike most species of cockroaches, these do not have wings. They have a thick armor of keratin to protect themselves and squeeze into tight spaces. A popular pet species that is used quite often in movies and television as a stand-in for more problematic species of cockroaches, these are a very gentle ambassador.

Males and females look quite different as the males have “horns” on top of their carapace. Also, as the name implies, they will hiss! The hissing is actually the cockroaches expelling air through tiny breathing holes on their backs called spiracles. The more dominant the male, the more noise he will make in his colony.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are decomposers and an incredibly important part of the ecosystem. They eat decomposing organic matter, break down forest debris and provide food for other animals in the environment. 

We recently welcomed some new cockroaches from the colony at Micke Grove Zoo! Our happy little cockroach family has expanded and this genetic diversity will improve their health.