Madagascan Hissing Cockroach

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!

Scientific name
Gromphadorhina potentosa
Fast facts
This cockroach often has mites! They form clumps at the base of the cockroach’s legs and share their food.
Unlike most cockroaches, the hissing cockroach is wingless, but it is an excellent climber and can scale smooth glass with ease.
Fossilised cockroaches found are thought to be 300 million years old!
Conservation status
Least concern