Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa)

Pricing: Dead (dried, spread): $20-$30
Geographic Range: Madagascar
View: Top View  Size: Length: 65-78 mm

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

The Hissing Cockroach Gromphadorhina portentosa may very well be the most popular roach in the world as it has become a common staple of the pet industry during the last few decades. Easy to keep and breed, it is often the "gateway bug" for invertebrate enthusiasts. They truly do hiss - a very audible sound that is produced by the expulsion of air from their spiracles. These roaches are live-bearers (keep that in mind if you have a female) with the nymphs reaching maturity in 6-18 months. Adults live for 2-3 years but some have been known to live as long as five years. They like all kinds of vegetables and are particularly fond of greens, such as romaine lettuce. Offer Gromphadorhina portentosa specimens a wide selection of food items (including things like dry dog food) and allow them to pick what they like. Gromphadorhina portentosa can climb glass with ease and the nymphs are expert escape artists. A 10-gallon tank is suitable for beginning a colony but make it escape-proof! The substrate should be deep and moist (but not too wet) to keep humidity levels elevated and the tank should have some driftwood or branches for the roaches to climb on. Misting is not needed but can be used to keep humidity levels optimum.