As their name would suggest, these scary looking creepy crawlies are one of our noisier residents here at the park. Madagascan hissing cockroaches communicate by pushing air through openings in their abdomen, called ‘spiracles’. This loud hissing noise helps to startle predators and give the cockroach time to escape.
The hissing cockroach’s flattened body allows it to squeeze through tight spaces in search of food and to escape predators. In the Madagascan forest, they perform the valuable role of breaking down plant and animal matter on the forest floor, acting as nutritional recyclers.
Perhaps surprisingly, Madagascan hissing cockroaches are also popular as exotic pets!