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The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa), also known as the hissing cockroach or simply ‘hissers’, is one of the largest species of cockroach, reaching 5 to 7.5 centimetres at maturity. They are native to the island of Madagascar, which is off the African mainland, where they are known to be found inside of rotting logs. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are popular to be kept as pets, and are also offered as feeders to larger species of reptiles and arachnids.
Unlike most cockroaches, they are wingless. They are excellent climbers and can scale smooth glass. Males can be distinguished from females by their thicker, hairier antennae and their very pronounced “horns”. In captivity, these insects have been known to live up to 5 years. They feed primarily on vegetable material.