Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are known for the hissing sound they make by forcing air through spiracles, or respiratory openings, on their abdomen. This hiss can be made because of different situations: disturbance, mating, and fighting, but only males use the latter two. Another distinction between the two genders is the thicker antennae found on males. Unlike most cockroaches, these are wingless. Despite this, they are very good at climbing and can even climb up smooth glass.
An adult Madagascar hissing cockroach will require at least a 5-gallon aquarium. Suitable substrate for Madagascar hissing cockroaches is peat moss, sphagnum moss, or wood chips with dark hidling places such as cardboard tubes or egg cartons. They are indigenouse to tropical rain forest areas of Madagascar; therefore, it's crucial that they be provided a temperature range of 77°-82°F during the day and mid to high 70°F at night. They should also be kept at moderate to high levels of humidity. To ensure proper humidity levels, the enclosure should be misted with water every other day.
As detritivores, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are far from picky eaters, and they can do well on a wide variety of foods, including:
- Bananas (whole)
- Lettuce/dark leafy greens
- Orange slices
- Pearl barley
- Dog and cat kibble
A shallow dish of water, soaked cotton balls or sponge, or water pillows can be used to offer water.