Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Family: Blaberidae

Genus: Gromphadorhina

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches Overview

Madagascar hissing cockroaches come from the island Madagascar. They are one of the most popular pet roaches around. Some common names they go by are hissers, hissing roach, hisser or the scientific name of Gromphadorhina portentosa. They are one of the few wingless roaches. They are great climbers and can easily climb plastic or glass. The hissing cockroach usually matures in about 3 to 6 months worth of time and can live in captivity for up to about 5 years. The hissing roach has been made popular by its size and hissing sounds that it makes. They extrude air out valves abdomen. They use this hissing noise to scare of predators. Should see the cat jump when it hisses 😉 They are very fun pet roaches and enjoyable to watch.


Mature male and female madagascar hissing cockroaches are easy to sex. The male usually has horns on its head (pronotum) and heavier antennae. They will produce the horns as they get older so younger nymphs are harder to tell apart.


Breeding hissing roaches is really easy. The main key to getting young is plenty of food, warmth, dark and moist environment. Many people wonder why their hissers will not breed and I have found most of the time it is due to lack of warmth. About 85 to 89 degrees is where I have found to produce the most offspring.


Hissing cockroaches are easy to care for. This pet roach is one of the most interesting of them also. First you want to get something that is large enough for them and have a little bit of bark, egg crates or something else for them to hide in. They are climbers so it is a good idea to spread about 2 inches of vaseline around the edges of your cage as they can not climb past this. Some kind of substrate like eco earth or other dirt like substance you can buy at a pet shop. Make sure there are no additives to the mixture like fertilizers as that can be harmful to your roaches. Food can either be fruits and vegetable scraps or you can use different cricket feeds. I have found that they like yellow squash, carrots, oranges and apples a lot. Citrus is really one of their favorites and good for them. Cricket feeds will sometimes attract grain mites, which are harmless but annoying. Ground up egg shells can also make a good source of protein for your roaches. For water you can mist your substrate a couple of times a week and keep orange slices in there as they will pull water out of those. Another source is cricket water crystals.

Ailments or sick

If you notice your roaches are nibbling on each other there might be a lack of protein. Egg shells, dog food, cat food or cricket feed are excellent sources of protein.

The madagascar hissing roach actually has a its on type of mite. These mites will feed on the food and saliva of the roach. They are harmless for the most part in small numbers but if you have too many you will need to clean your roaches. The best way I found to do this is put them in a zip lock back with flour. Shake a little and it knocks off all the mites into the flour. Now mist your roach with water to remove all the flour off it. Not fun but it works.