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Tropical Roaches as Pets
Hissing Roaches


This cockroach species hails from the African island of Madagascar. Wildly popular and easily the most famous cockroach of them all this species is favored for its easy keeping, large size, lack of wings, and the virtually unique ability of producing a loud pronounced hissing sound. The average size seems to be in the 2 1/2 to 3 inch range. There are reports of cultures of "super" Hissers of 4-5 inches (possible subspecies) and of the occasional "super" males of extreme size appearing in otherwise more moderate sized cultures.
As seen in the pictures there are some easily identifiable differences between the genders. The females carry the egg case internally resulting in the "live" birth of its nymphs.
Unlike most cockroaches the Hissing roach lives communally in a rather sophisticated social structure. The males are territorial and have three categories of status: dominant males, satellite males and subordinate males. The horns are uses in battles of dominance which can be quite interesting to watch. The males will wag their abdomens and charge hissing loudly in these short confrontations. There are apparently three different territories in my culture. Every time I rearrange the inside of the cage there will be all night hissing and battling as the new territories are established.
I have had over 700 Hissers in several colonies but finally sold them off to a couple of other breeders. I have about five now. All escapies who had, believe it or not, found sanctuary at one time or another in my other roach cultures. I am not sure if they were attracted to the food and water present in them or just the presence of other roaches. They still show up once in a while. One of the most escape minded roach species by far.