Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Notice: The Zoo Will Close at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 2 to Prepare for Brew at the Zoo. Admission will end at noon.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa

The hissing Cockroach are native to the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa. They produce a hiss sounds due to forcefully pushed air through their spiracles into the trachea. They hiss at times of defense, communication, courtship & mating.

Range & Habitat

Extant to Madagascar, the hissing cockroach live upon forest floors, where they inhabit rotten logs, leaf litter and other detritus. 

Conservation Status: Least Concern


The hissing cockroach is an opportunistic feeder, feeding upon fruit and plant material, prominently during nocturnal hours. 

Life Span

2 to 5 years

Fun Facts about the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

  • Males look different compared to the females. Males have large protrusion on their thorax called pronotal humps. Females have very small bumps with a smooth thorax.
  •  Males are also known to be aggressive due to establishing territories and thus defending from other males, while females are quite social and do not fight with others.
  •  Females are ovoviviparous, thus give birth to live young & can produce up to 60 nymphs.


Nebraska Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Department of Entomology. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach | Department of Entomology ( retrieved August 18, 2021.

D. Clark & D. Shanklin, University of Kentucky Entomology. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches | Entomology ( retrieved August 18, 2021.

Updated June 13, 2023
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