Gentle giant Madagascan cockroaches made pets by many
CHELSEA PIETERSE UNIVERSITY of KwaZuluNatal entomology masters student Olieve Fynn says Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches are not as dangerous as they look.
Although fairly large in size, and rath er creepy looking, these cockroaches cannot be found lurking about your kitchen cupboards, ready to fly at your face as soon as you try to catch them.
Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches are rather gentle, and will sit quite happily in the palm of your hand until you are ready to put them back into their cages.
It is one of the largest species of cockroach, reaching between five and seven centimetres and native to the island of Madagascar. They have been made into pets by many, with Fynn saying the male and female of the species can be identified by their heads — the male has two small humps on his head while the female has a smooth head.
She said these cockroaches cannot bite humans. However, if they attempt to bite you, she said, it will feel “like they are giving you tiny kisses”.
These roaches are known to be great climbers and are even able to scale smooth glass surfaces.
In captivity, these insects have been known to live up to five years and have a vegetable or plant diet.
University of KwaZuluNatal masters student Olieve Fynn at the Royal Show yesterday with Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches.