I know, its been ages and you have all probably forgotten about this blog, but it will get better I promise. Anyway, today I thought I would give you some information on my Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa).
So, the featured image on this post was from a few years ago now. One of my first purchases of Hissing cockroaches, that is when I first knew I loved these guys! I initially bought them as feeders for my spiders, tarantulas and scorpions, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, they are just so cute! The species I have bought this time are a bit lighter and have a distinct striped abdomen. See images below,
They can grow up to 3 inches, starting off as a 1cm nymph when born. Unlike some species of cockroach they give birth to live young and not eggs. They are a tropical species and need to be kept humid and warm. Humidity should be kept high around 75 to 80%, I do this by keeping an open water dish and keeping the coir substrate damp. Heat should be provided using a heat-pad to raise the temperature around 23 to 32°. They also need several places to hide, for this I have sphagnum moss on top of the substrate and also cork bark for them to stay under. Males can be easily spotted from females as they have small horns at the front which females do not have (see below). The reason for the males horns are for breeding rights. The Males will have pushing matches, the winner of these becomes “lead” cockroach and will father the nymphs with the females. They find their way around by using their antennae to feel around their surroundings.
They need vegetables and fruit along with a supply of protein in the form of dry dog food or something similar. Always make sure you remove any spoiled food to avoid mould.
All in all these are a great pet, for experienced exotic pet keepers right up to as a first pet for kids. My boys love them! They are fairly calm, and their only real defence is the hissing noise they make which is where they get their name. They do this by forcing air out of their breathing holes. I currently have 10, 5 males and 5 females, obviously I will be hoping for more as they get more comfortable. Here are a couple of pics of how I keep mine, hope you enjoy them and I promise i’ll try and be a bit more active from now on.