We often hear visitors gasp when they see the giant hissing cockroach exhibit in the Hidden Jungle crevasse. It is unfortunate that the only information many people know about cockroaches is their role as creepy pests. Yet most cockroaches are NOT pests. They provide a vital service in a variety of habitats by being the bug that will eat just about anything.
Our hissing cockroaches are native to the island nation of Madagascar. In its damp rain forests, these insects eat animal feces, fungus, decaying wood, fallen fruit—you name it. By breaking down these components, they recycle nutrients into the soil. Their efforts help seeds, saplings, and trees flourish.
As its name suggests, the hissing cockroach makes a hissing sound. But it only does it when alarmed, in defense, or to lure a mate.