Geographical Range Madagascar (off the eastern coast of Africa)
Habitat Forests
Scientific Name Gromphadorhina portentosa
Conservation Status Common

If you touch one of these cockroaches, it may hiss at you. It makes the sound by forcing air out through breathing tubes on the sides of its abdomen. The air moves rapidly over membranes near the tubes -- much like a clarinet produces noise. The resulting 90-decibel blast is so loud it can be heard 12 feet away!

These cockroaches hiss loudly when they feel threatened. Males also sound off when fighting with other males, courting females, or mating. They hear each other’s hissing sound with the help of delicate cells by their legs.

Male and female hissing cockroaches are easy to tell apart. Males have a pair of humps on the thorax behind their head -- perfect for use as “battering rams” during shoving matches. Females don’t have these humps, and their bodies are much larger than those of males.

There’s probably little chance you’ll find these large cockroaches in your home: they live only on the island of Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa.