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On the life of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches and their maintenance at home


Gromphadorrhina portentosa - мадагаскарские шипящие тараканы

Together with Mexican naked dogs, Sphynx cats and Vietnamese pigs, the Madagascar cockroach confidently conquers the title of an extravagant but beloved by many originals a pet. It is difficult to call it a sweet or very sympathetic friend (even the term "four-legged" does not suit him!), But many features of biology and a very original appearance make him an attractive pet for exotic lovers.

Moreover, Madagascar cockroaches are very convenient in the maintenance: they do not stain in the apartment and do not smell, are harmless and calm, and in most cases are not noticeable at all for guests.

Nevertheless, certain requirements for the conditions of detention of the Madagascar sibilant cockroach still makes. Therefore, for the successful breeding of these insects in the house, even before buying them, one must get acquainted with the peculiarities of their biology and take into account the experience of the hard cockroaches.

Appearance of cockroaches and their photos



Madagascar sizzling cockroaches - this is not one species, but a whole genus of cockroaches that live exclusively in Madagascar , and in other countries of the world are found only in terrariums of lovers or in random boxes with bananas.

Мадагаскарских тараканов насчитывается порядка 20 видов

In total, 20 species of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches are known in science, and the status of some of them is systematically controversial.

A characteristic feature of Madagascar cockroaches is their lack of wings at all stages of development. The vast majority of other cockroaches are wingless only larvae, and adults (adults) have wings, and some species even fly very well. At Madagascar's originals it is sometimes even difficult to distinguish a senior nymph from an adult insect.

Madagascar sizzling cockroaches have a very characteristic appearance: a very powerful chitinous shield on the cephalothorax, a wide and rather thick abdomen. But the main feature of them are the sizes - the imago of some species can reach a length of 9 cm! In the photo it is easy to estimate the size of a cockroach in comparison with a human hand:

Мадагаскарские шипящие тараканы достигают внушительных размеров

The color of the abdomen of these insects varies from light-red to almost black. As a rule, the nymphs are darker than adults and have a slightly more dense physique. The upper photo shows nymphs of early ages, on the lower one there is one larva of late age:

Личинки (нимфы) мадагаскарского таракана (ранний возраст)

Взрослая личинка

A real adornment of an adult Madagascar cockroach is a kind of outgrowth on the top of his chest shell. Such "horns" are only grown by males, and it is thanks to them that in some species males from females are well distinguished.

In the photo above - male, from below - female Gromphadorhina portentosa - the most popular Madagascar cockroach:

Фото самца мадагаскарского шипящего таракана

Фото самки мадагаскарского таракана

In those species of Madagascar cockroaches, in which males do not have protrusions on their backs, sexual dimorphism is less pronounced. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish males from females by other signs:

  • according to the state of the mustache - in males they are almost always broken and curved, as insects actively use them in the struggle for the female. In females, on the contrary, the antennae are even and whole. The differences between the sexes are clearly visible in the photo; Самец и самка мадагаскарского таракана
  • on the last two segments of the abdomen: in females they are both black, in the male black only the latter. And in general, the female abdomen is slightly wider. In the photo, this is clearly visible.

Nymphs can not visually distinguish the sexes. The nymphs themselves are very similar to adult insects, but their cephalothorax is not as developed as that of their parents.

Lifestyle and ecology of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches

Madagascar sizzling cockroaches - insects are very timid and timid. In natural conditions, they live in the jungles of Madagascar, hiding in the forest litter during the day, and at night crawling along its surface and eating various rotting plant and animal remains. They do not bite and can not cause a person any harm.

To save them from predators, these insects chose guerrilla tactics: they try to give themselves out as little as possible, and if the lemur or the bird finds them, they press themselves to the surface with all their might.

Because of the smooth back, the animal can not grab the cockroach from above, and poking it from below is also a big problem. And then the cockroach throws out its trump card, for which it, in fact, was called.

Madagascar cockroaches can very loudly and sizzle. The hissing is reminiscent of the scaring sound of some snakes and is beneficial to cockroaches, as it can help them get rid of annoying pursuers. Such a hiss can even frighten experienced terrarium players, since it is produced very insect by insects.

Мадагаскарские тараканы способны громко шипеть

Sizzle all adult cockroaches, using for this purpose special organs - spiracles - on the surface of the body. The cockroach quite sharply bend the body and cut the lungs to make a hiss, in some species resembling a whistle.

Female cockroaches hiss only in case of danger, frightening off the sound of enemies. Males use hissing additionally during courtship for the female and during a fight with other males.

It is noteworthy that in a colony of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches among males a clear hierarchy is established. During the fight, males push their horns, and the weaker male eventually turns on his back, demonstrating his defeat. The majority of males carry on the body those or other damages received during fights.

Many are interested in how many live Madagascar cockroaches. As a rule, in nature, the average life expectancy of an insect is 1-1.5 years, in captivity - about 3 years. Very rarely, individuals survive to 5 and even 6 years. At the end of life they tend to lighten a little.

Another no less interesting question is what Madagascar cockroaches eat. In this respect, they are no different from most other species, consuming the rotting remnants of fruits, berries, green parts of plants.

It is interesting

In Madagascar hissing cockroaches are constantly inhabited by one type of ticks, which is not found on any other living creature. At one time it was assumed that these mites parasitize insects, piercing their chitinous membrane and feeding on lymph or blood. But studies using colored liquids that allowed cockroaches to drink showed that this was not the case: mites feed on the same food that cockroaches consume - fruits and green parts of plants, and the cockroaches themselves are used only as a vehicle.

Like all cockroaches, Madagascar hissing gravitate to places with a pronounced wood smell or with the presence of wood dust and sawdust. Therefore, in nature, they are easiest to find in rotten stumps and under logs in the forest.

Reproduction of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches



Madagascar sizzling cockroaches refer to viviparous species. After fertilization of the egg in the abdomen, the females are glued together and form a special chamber - the ootheka. Most of the time the ootheca is in the abdomen of the female, but it has the ability to push it through the anus for airing the eggs.

Самка таракана с оотекой

Самка мадагаскарского таракана проветривает оотеку

It is interesting

In those species of cockroaches that reproduce with live birth, the ootheke has a light - white or white-yellow - color and it seems soft. In other species, females that discharge the ootheca long before the eggs leave the larvae, the ootheca is firm and has a patronizing color. In the photo you can see the Oota of the Madagascar and the ootheka of the black cockroach:

Оотеки мадагаскарского и черного тараканов

The development of eggs lasts about 50-70 days. This time depends on the temperature of the environment - the colder the air, the longer the peculiar pregnancy lasts.

Nymphs emerge from the eggs in the body cavity of the female, after which they are immediately pushed out together with the remnants of the ootheca. Newborn larvae are small - only a few millimeters in length - and have a white soft shell. They diligently eat ooteca and within a few hours darken, turning into small copies of the mother.

Роды мадагаскарского шипящего таракана

Личинки выходят из самки

Изначально личинки имеют белый цвет

Некоторое время после родов личинки держатся около матери и никуда не расползаются

It is interesting

Madagascar - one of the few cockroaches, females take care of nymphs. While the larvae themselves do not spread in different directions, the mother angrily hisses at all insects and animals approaching her, and makes attacks on the potential enemy.

In one brood of cockroaches there are usually 20-25 larvae. Several days after birth, they stay with their mother, and then crawl away.

The chitinous cover of the larva can not grow in size, and therefore the insect itself grows inside it, as in clothes. Several times during his childhood the nymph sheds - her shell splits on her back, her halves diverge to the sides and a light, grown-up nymph creeps out of him. Her new carapace is soft and bright, but as long as the insect eats its previous small shell, the body covers harden, and the nymph gets the usual dark brown color.

The larval stage from hatching to the last moult lasts depending on the environmental conditions and nutrition from 6 to 12 months. During this time, the nymph molts 6 times.

As a result, as a pet, a Madagascar will please his owner about 4-5 years. But for such a joy, insects need to create suitable conditions ...

Contents of cockroaches at home

Immediately say that Madagascar sizzling cockroaches are bred at home not only for pleasure, but also as a very convenient feed for terrarium animals - lizards, amphibians, snakes, spiders. They are caloric, harmless to animals, do not produce an unpleasant odor, and, therefore, are very attractive as a feed.

Мадагаскарских шипящих тараканов легко содержать в домашних условиях

It is interesting

It is Madagascar cockroaches that are used as race insects in cockroach races - very popular entertainment in many countries of the world. In addition, they are also used for food, no matter how terrible it may sound - an adult insect is an excellent caloric source of protein, exceeding by many parameters dietary chicken and veal. And today, extravagant couturiers even use live Madagascar to make necklaces, but such chivalry is unlikely to ever be widespread.

Regardless of the purpose, the contents of Madagascar cockroaches at home are usually carried out in spacious plastic cages, in which:

  • There is a litter of sawdust. It is undesirable to use sawdust of coniferous species, but coconut powder or ordinary sawdust for cat litter is ideal. You can mix sawdust with sand. Litter should be changed once a month to prevent infection with her mites.
  • There are shelters. The practice of cockroach lovers shows that ideal shelters are egg trays laid one on top of the other.
  • A high temperature of 25-30 ° C is maintained. Cockroaches normally tolerate a decrease in temperature to 18 ° C and rise to 35 ° C, but at such extremes cease to multiply.
  • Wet - all the tank should be sprayed with water from the spray gun at least once a week. In the ideal case - warm water, which immediately turns into a fog, ideal for cockroaches. It is necessary to avoid constant blotting of the substrate - it can rot or mold.

Важно не допускать отсырения подстилки в домике для тараканов

Cockroaches constantly need water. In nature, they get it from juicy fruits or with dew. In the cage you need to install a drinking bowl, into which cotton wool is placed and filled with water. Insects should not be able to drown, but they must have access to water.

Care for Madagascar sizzling cockroaches is to spray the water tank with them, regularly providing them with food and adding water to the drinking bowl. Knowing how to care for Madagascar cockroaches, you can achieve that they will actively breed and live long enough.

It is not necessary to puzzle especially over what to feed the Madagascar cockroaches. They perfectly eat any fruit (especially gladly - bananas), boiled porridges, vegetables, dry food for fish, bread. The main thing is that the food is constantly in their cage and varied, otherwise insects can manifest cannibalism or begin to engage in self-mutilation.

Buy a Madagascar cockroach in Moscow or another major city of Russia is not difficult: today they are sold in many avian markets and zoos. Knowing where to buy a Madagascar cockroach, many terrariumists do without a fodder culture for their reptiles, constantly buying larvae of cockroaches of the right size.

Today, cockroaches can be bought even through the Internet. It is important only to take into account that in packed parcel insects can travel no more than 3-4 days, so the Internet store should be selected from those that are near the house.

Today, the nymphs of Madagascar cockroaches cost about 100-150 rubles, depending on the age, the price of adult cockroaches is about 400-500 rubles. Given the simplicity of the content, these insects can please even those nature lovers who can not afford to keep a cat or a dog, but want to have a small piece of wildlife in the house.

To the record "About the life of Madagascar sizzling cockroaches and their maintenance at home" left 38 comments.
  1. Veronica :

    Very interesting article. I'll try to get myself a pair of such cuties ... Tomorrow!

    Reply
  2. Vova :

    What cute. I will manage, if my parents allow me :)

    Reply
    • Vova :

      I already have one, cool, loves music, almost no longer hissing at me.

      Reply
  3. Eugene :

    Miracle, not the cattle)))

    Reply
  4. Demon :

    I can take the male, Astrakhan. Or buy, but not expensive, for 50 rubles.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous :

    I have two such men, a male and a female.

    Reply
  6. Vitya :

    How often will they breed?

    Reply
  7. Julia :

    I have 2 such: Bonya is a boy, and Masha is a girl.

    Reply
  8. Alain :

    Tell me, can anybody know. I have a year old female Madagascar cockroach. Lives alone. And already two times out of it crawled out the ooteka. How is this possible without a male? Or am I missing something? The cockroach just laid it down and it withered.

    Reply
    • Luba :

      I do not know, it's actually kind of nonsense, but if it's really true, then it's definitely some kind of pathology.

      Reply
    • Kostya :

      And I have the same thing, and somewhere I read that this also happens, and this is a variant of the norm. In general, I really like what my little self looks like.

      Reply
    • Ivan :

      You need a male for fertilization.

      Reply
  9. Alexey :

    Tell me, maybe I do not understand what, but ... I bought 2 pregnant female Madagascar cockroach, after 10 days one of them brought the offspring of 20 pieces about, did not count. This happened on September 20, 2014. To date, 12/26/2014, most cockroaches have been shed for the fifth time and are in the pre-imago stage. A week or two ago, the second female also developed. So the question is: tell me, is it normal that cockroaches developed so quickly? After all, almost all forums write that the stage of development from the nymph to imago 6-8 months.

    Reply
  10. Oksana :

    For a year my female gave birth 4 times. Handed out grown up. Now I have 35 adults.

    Reply
  11. Eugene :

    Is it true that Madagascar cockroaches eat redheads?

    Reply
  12. Anya :

    Why does a cockroach attack on its paws?

    Reply
  13. Andrew :

    I have their whole company. I grow myself. First, took 4 females and 4 males, then how rushed - they bred like rabbits))

    Reply
  14. Max :

    Hello everyone, I love these sizzling cockroaches. I'll buy inexpensively, for 100-50 rubles, the city of Privolzhsk. Please, respond, we just do not sell them, but I want them very much. Who lives in Ivanovo or Moscow - please, bring, I will buy with pleasure.

    Reply
  15. Ira :

    And how many liters are needed for housing? )

    Reply
    • Ivan :

      Depends on the number, and so in time itself you will understand.

      Reply
  16. Nastya :

    I have 2 cockroaches: Bonnie and Clyde.

    Reply
  17. Nastya :

    I live in Ulyanovsk, but I can give small cockroaches for free! I have them 30.

    Reply
  18. Dmitry :

    I have 3 males and 3 females. The females are huge, straight fat and not completely grown. Conditions for housing are cool, I feed fruit, etc.

    Reply
    • Ivan :

      Try only vegetables. And check the floor again. And keep the temperature of 20-25 degrees.

      Reply
  19. Andrew :

    Buy Elliptorhina javanica, Gromphadorhina grandidieri, Princisia vanwerebecki. Who has such cockroaches - write, please!

    Reply
  20. Valera :

    I bought two cockroaches for a spider, and I feel sorry for him. Two weeks later, they multiplied, conditions are almost none, but they breed. My wife plays with them every day.

    Reply
  21. Vanya :

    I have a cockroach, she alone, will soon give birth to nyasha.

    Reply
  22. Anonymous :

    I have a female, and she ran away. And I'm afraid that she is pregnant and will give birth. Than them then to poison?

    Reply
  23. Nastya :

    Earlier there were two cockroaches: Boni and Clyde, and then they bred. And then we sold the adults. But left two small ones. I do not even know what gender they are. In length now 2 cm. They sometimes fight for food, although in length it is only 2 cm 5 mm.

    Reply
    • Andrew :

      Yes, the story is like yours, started with two, now more than a hundred)) By the way, I gave Bonnie and Clyde the names to my snakes))

      Reply
  24. Alexey :

    Where can I buy? Altai region.

    Reply
  25. Anonymous :

    Hello, and tell me, please, what could lead to stillborn cockroaches? The female did not give birth to the living, but dropped the ootheka half open, but they are all dead and underdeveloped. Pregnancy lasted 2 months, the conditions of detention are correct!

    Reply
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