Gromphadorhina portentosa - Madagascar Hissing Roach
Madgascar Hissing Cockroach a.k.a Hissers a.k.a. Gromphadorhina portentosa. These are one of the most popular pet roaches. Their docile nature and calm temperament make for an excellent pet. As their name implies, hissers can make a very audible hissing sound. They do this by exhaleing air through their breathing holes.
1/4 inch when born, adults can attain 4 inches in length and have seen some slightly larger.
They are sexually dimorphic, that is to say that the adult females look completely different from the adult males. Mature male and female madagascar hissing cockroaches are easy to sex. The male usually has horns on its head and heavier antennae. They will produce the horns as they get older so younger nymphs are harder to tell apart. You can also tell the sex in large nymphs by look at the last two ventral sclerites. In females they will be fused or one and males it will be 2. See the picutres on the left.
2-3 years on average although I have heard of them living as long as 5 years.
Hissers can climb glass and plastic so a barrier is needed or an extremely tight fitting lid. I like to house all of my roaches in rubbermaid or sterlite containers with screened lids and a roach barrier to contain them. I use a roach barrier of either vasaline or food safe grease.
I use egg crates positioned vertically for additional floor/living space. A substrate of peat moss can be used as can other soil mixtures. If you use any kind of substrate from a hardware store or garden shop, MAKE SURE IT IS FERTILIZER AND PESTICIDE FREE!
82 - 90 degrees F
40%-50% You can keep a spray bottle handy to help keep humidity up in drier areas. If you use a substrate wetting it down periodically can help maintain proper humidity as well.
Like most roaches, hissers are decomposers, feeding on ripe fruit and other plant materials. I keep my home made dry roach food available to them at all times. When feeding any fresh fruits or vegetables, do not put in more then they can eat in 24-36 hour period to avoid problems caused by rotten/moldy food. I also provide water gel to my roaches as a water source at all times.
Keep food and water available at all times. Clean out the waste as needed. I do not allow the waste to get any deeper then 1/2 of an inch. I also leave some in as the babys seem to do better when they can feed on their parents waste.
Hissers are easy to breed and can have as many as 40 babies at a time. Hissers are live bearing.
This is a local Dallas/Fort Worth Tarantula and Arachnid Society.