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Madagascar hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa


The Madagascar hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa), also known as the Hissing Cockroach or simply Hisser, is one of the largest species of cockroach, reaching 2–4 inches at maturity. They are from the island of Madagascar off the African coast, where they can be found in rotting logs. Unlike most cockroaches, they are wingless. They are excellent climbers and can scale smooth glass. Males can be distinguished from females by their thicker, hairier antennae and the pronounced "horns" on the pronotum. Females carry the ootheca (egg case) internally, and release the young nymphs only after the eggs have hatched. As in some other wood roaches, the parents and offspring will commonly remain in close physical contact for extended periods of time. In captivity, these insects can live 5 years. They feed primarily on vegetable material.


Spotted in the hand of Project Noah co-founder, Yasser Ansari at the Saguaro National Park & National Geographic BioBlitz event.

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Spotted by

Tucson, Arizona

Spotted on Oct 22, 2011
Submitted on Oct 25, 2011

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