Micke Grove Zoo

SJGOV.org - How can we serve you today?

Visit S.J. County Parks & Recreation Website

Madagascar Giant Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa

Habitat: Diverse habitats

Range: Madagascar

Natural Diet: Primarily vegetable matter

Status in the Wild: Common (Least Concern)


Fun Facts

  • Madagascar giant hissing cockroaches make an interesting hissing sound to deter predators. This sound is made by them by blowing air through their breathing openings called spiracles
  • You can distinguise between adult males and females since adult male have two hornlike structures on their head
  • They do not have wings and hence are flightless
  • They reproduce in a unique fashion. The female creates a cacoon shaped egg case that carries approximately 60 eggs. Unlike female cockroaches of other species that lay the egg case, female hissers carry the egg case within their body delivering live young nymphs from the egg case.
  • These nymphs grow in size by shedding their chitonous skin. They pass through 3 life stages through an incomplete form on metamorphosis - egg, nymph, and adult



Compared to males, females have slender antennae


Distributional range

Hissing roaches are endemic to Madagascar, the island in black to the right of Africa.