Creatures & Critters: Hissing Cockroach Edition

Meet the Fabulous Five!

The Fabulous Five are the Nature Center’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches. These cockroaches are one of many fascinating animal species to hail from the island of Madagascar. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are shiny brown and are oval-shaped. They do not have wings and they have a single pair of antennae. Male hissing cockroaches have large horns. They use their horns in encounters with rivals. The rivals ram one another with their horns. They will also release a hissing noise doing the fight. Hissing is also a part of the cockroach’s mating ritual and can be used as an effective alarm cry. Madagascar hissing cockroaches exhale air through their breathing holes. This is what makes the hissing noise.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are not pests and they do not inhabit human dwellings. Hissing cockroaches live on forest floors, where they hide among leaves, logs, and other detritus. They are more active at night and scavenge for meals, feeding on fruit or plant materials. Female hissing cockroaches create a cocoon-like egg case called an ootheca and carry their eggs inside their bodies. They then bear living young and can have as many as 60 nymph roaches!

Stop by the Nature Center to see the Fabulous Five!Nature Center's hissing cockroaches on a branch