Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Facts
- The rather fascinating, if repugnant to many, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach ranks as one of the largest known species of the cockroach on earth.
- It also might surprise many of our readers to learn that within its native range, many people keep specimens of this invertebrate, and related species, as pets.
- Yet, perhaps the most astounding thing about this particular cockroach, in the minds of many people, remains the fact that it actually makes an easily audible hissing sound, as its name suggests.
- Due to its rather great size, and unique attributes, the species has often been used in Hollywood movies.
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Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Physical Description
Mature adult specimens of the rather remarkable Madagascar Hissing Cockroach remain capable of reaching a total length of up to 3 in (7.5 cm).
Also unlike most other species of cockroach, this particular invertebrate remains entirely wingless. It is, however, an excellent climber, and even appears capable of climbing smooth glass. Imagine that.
This creature does display a mild degree of sexual dimorphism. In this case, males develop significantly thicker and hairier antennae, as well as horn-like projections on the thorax.
The coloring is a rather common combination of reddish-brown and black.
Species: G. portentosa
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
As its common name implies, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach evolved as endemic only to the island of Madagascar, in Africa. This remains a highly isolated location, even today.
Its native environment consists of the dense jungle regions of the island. Also, within that environment, it most commonly inhabits rotting logs.
Further, the name of this cockroach derives from its ability to force air through its breathing spicules forcefully. In fact, while there are numerous other insect species that make such a sound, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is the only insect humans know of to make noises in this particular manner.
The species also actually possesses three distinctly different hissing sounds.
One solely the males use for attracting females. Another – when they are startled. The third serves during combat.
Finally, it feeds primarily on decaying vegetable matter and also possesses a lifespan of as much as 5 years.
Species Sharing Its Range
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Check out our other articles on Golden Tortoise Beetle, Green Bush Cricket, Desert Locust, Rhinoceros Cockroach, 5 Completely Unique Volcanoes
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