A wonderful paradise looking corner of the Earth not far from Africa, Madagascar Island, has become a homeland for numerous fascinating insect species. One of them is the Madagascar hissing…

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach: Identification and Control

A wonderful paradise looking corner of the Earth not far from Africa, Madagascar Island, has become a homeland for numerous fascinating insect species. One of them is the Madagascar hissing cockroach – a bug that presents a great interest for scientists as well as ordinary people.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Despite the fact that these noisy bugs feature pretty scary looks, the crawlies are just fascinating and really extraordinary! No matter what, they truly deserve to be acquainted with!

The bugs are called prehistoric insects as they are believed to inhabit our planet prior to dinosaurs: for this fact they got the name of «»living fossils». Such striking revolutionary success was achieved due to uncomplicated biology. They feed on various organic matters

Luckily to humans, this type of roaches never infest homes and so can’t be considered as pests and threat to people’s comfort. They prefer to dwell in jungles, hiding under rocks or leaves. The species are nocturnal thus they are primarily active at nights.

These cockroaches do not bite, if you take them in hands.

These cockroaches do not bite, if you take them in hands.

These roaches never bite: if you take it in your palm, it will just slowly walk along making no harm.

These representatives of roach family have no wings and feature flattened body that allows them to crawl into the tiniest cracks. They have a small head which they hide under their thorax as a rule. Adult insects feature dark brown color and tiny orange markings in the abdomen area. Once the coat on their body becomes hard it turns almost black.

Do Hissing Roaches Really Hiss?

The fact is one of the most curious about these crawlies. Do the scavengers really produce any sound? Yes, they do, and that is why Madagascar cockroaches are pretty often called just like «hissers».

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When making a mating ritual, two competitors, try to win the heart of a female and hiss loudly. The one that provides the loudest sound become the winner. Also, Madagascar bugs use their «noisy» ability to scare off various predators.

The bugs feature special holes in the abdomen called spiracles. They produce their outstanding hissing noise by forcing air out through the holes. The sound reaches up to 90 dB which is even louder then a lawnmower!

Life Cycle of a Hissing Roach

Still there is another fact about Madagascar roaches, that is even more interesting and unusual then the sound they produce. It’s their lifespan!

Female roaches feature a special case looking like cocoon and called ootheca. There are eggs inside and females carry them on their body. This lasts for sixty days! As soon as eggs are hatched inside the cocoon, nymphs get outside, giving impression that these cockroaches bear living young bugs. Normally the cockroach is able to give away 30-60 eggs at a time.

Cockroaches carry eggs on yourself.

Cockroaches carry eggs on yourself.

Thus the gradual development looks like: eggs-nymphs- adults. A nymph needs 6 months to become an adult roach. It’s interesting to know that newly bred roaches and adults keep close contact between them for long periods of time.

The life span of an adult hisser is about 2-5 years. They are able to live in captivity for the whole life. Due to their fast life cycle, Madagascar hissers are able quickly develop large populations on condition of abundant resources. The insects like warm and moist habitats and they won’t breed in cold conditions.

Hissing Cockroach for Sale

You might be surprise with the fact, but hissers present a great interest for many people. They are sold for two major reasons: as pets and as food for other pets.

Yes, Madagascar bugs can be pets and they are ones of the most interesting pet insects! That is more the hissers are easy to care and won’t require much effort for keeping them at home and feeding. All they need is some place to hide in (you can use egg crates or something like this for the purpose) and vegetable or fruit scraps. You can also opt for cricket feeds.

You can even train your roach pet to make some simple but funny tricks!

If you don’t fancy the idea of having a Madagascar cockroach at your home as a pet, but have one or two reptiles, you still might want to buy the bugs as they present a really exquisite treat for a row of reptiles and invertebrates. Amphibians also like to treat themselves with a couple of fresh hissers.

Hissing cockroaches are often bought as Pets

Hissing cockroaches are often bought as Pets.

Scorpions, dragons, tarantulas and of course chameleons (these especially) will be just happy if you order the roaches for them from time to time. Being easy to breed and highly nutritious, the insects are just perfect food option for your pets.

There are numerous sites nowadays that offer the cockroaches for sale: you can pick up a bug of any size and order it online.

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