madagascar hissing cockroach

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa


The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is shiny brown in color, with a dark head and legs. Its body is flat and oval in shape. This type of cockroach has very large antennae and no wings.


Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can grow up to 2.5 inches long.



In the wild, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are decomposers, consuming fallen fruit and decaying plant and animal matter. At Cosley Zoo, they are fed oak leaves, lettuce and fish flakes.


Females are ovoviviparous, meaning that they give birth to live young that hatch from eggs inside the female's body. The female carries the eggs/nymphs for 60 days, after which she gives birth to 30-60 young.

Shelter and Space Needs

Hissing Cockroaches are native to Madagascar and can be found on the forest floor, often in rotten logs.

Life Expectancy

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can live 2-3 years in captivity. Their longevity in the wild is unknown.

Importance to Man

As decomposers, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches play an important role in their ecosystem by "recycling" nutrients. Cosley Zoo staff uses the cockroaches in education programs to illustrate the fact and not all insects (and not even all cockroaches) are pests.

Fun Facts