Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches! The scientific name is Gromphadorhina portentosa. These great creatures are amazing, easy and fun creatures to have and enjoy.
ATTENTION: If you plan to use Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for feeders, read at the bottom why We don’t recommend them as feeders, however, it does depend on your situation.
Madagascar, hence the name.
They seem to like more rural areas in nature, probably leaf litters or similar environments. Also urban settings as well.
They tend to be as one might describe as “clingy”; when you hold them, they try to hide and hold on to you. These creatures are not aggressive and should not be considered dangerous at all. They do not bite and are very shy but fun to interact with. When letting people hold them, let them hold females; the males tend to be more jumpy and hiss a lot more, it makes some people scared.
Enclosure: Preferably use glass or a plastic container; a lot of people use plastic bins to have large colonies. Please know that they can climb plastic and glass, so make sure they can’t get out. Some people put a Vaseline jelly ring around the sides so they can’t climb over the ring.
Decor: We used cork board, but now We do not recommend that at all, it molds very easily. Use something flat and for them to hide under, most people use egg cartons.
Substrate: They should have substrate, especially if you plan to display them. You will find a lot of poop on the ground and it’s not very appealing. We are using at the moment cypress wood chips, and it works well. This is what is looks like without substrate and why you should have substrate.
Food: They eat fresh vegetables, We prefer carrots. We do not recommend feeding them celery because it turns into a slushy after a while as seen below:
Important Question: Do the roaches themselves or does the cage smell?: We have had no problems with this and they are notorious known to NOT smell as cricket colonies do. So that is a perk.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are very easy to breed, just get a male and a female in the same cage and after maybe two months, you probably will have babies. To increase the rate of reproduction, feed your cockroaches oranges; this increases their libido.
How to Acquire Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
These you can get online or from a lot exotic pet stores, or the pet store can order them for you.
Price: They are about $5 per adult cockroach.
Why We DON’T Recommend them As Feeders
We raised Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches specifically for feeders, plus they are interesting pets to have as well. However, all of Our spiders had trouble with finding them and when they did, most of them would not eat them.
They tend to burrow to the bottom of the enclosure or climb to the very top corners, so the animals have very little contact with the cockroaches, and the cockroaches can stay there for a very long time. I have found that crickets work much better and are now what We use.
Another important note about Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches is most invertebrates CANNOT eat them because of their very strong exoskeleton. They are great for your large invertebrates (most medium to large tarantulas, large centipedes, large scorpions, etc. ) and lizards (bearded dragons, monitors, etc.).
These are all things you should consider when breeding these creatures. However, it depends on what you are feeding. Either way, they are still interesting pets if that is your interest.