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Animals Around Us: Hissing Cockroaches

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can be ordered from Carolina Biological Supply

Scientific name: Gromphadorhina portentosa


  • Everyone (visitors and presenters) must wash their hands before and after handling the hissing cockroach.
  • When removing a hissing cockroach from its cage it’s often easiest to use your thumb and forefinger to gently clasp the sides of the thorax abdomen up near the base of the legs or just scoop one up in the palm of your hand.
  • Visitors can either pet the hissing cockroach or hold it in the palm of their hand (they do not bite).
  • Guests may notice that the cockroaches feel ‘sticky’, like they are gripping their hand. This may be intimidating – it’s also a really cool feature to point out. Hissing cockroaches can climb straight up a completely flat surface, such as glass!
  • Presenters need to ensure the hissing cockroach is held directly over its plastic carrying container. This is important because if a guest accidentally drops a cockroach it will fall safely back into its container instead of onto the floor.
  • The cockroaches may sometimes excrete a clearish liquid that can be wiped off easily. Occasionally harmless mites may be visible on their abdomen.


Hissing Cockroaches FAQ


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