Madagascan Hissing Cockroach|
This insect is 3 inches (8 cm) long.
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Ref: ITIS 102427 2002-12-11
Notes on the picture:
The Madagascan Hissing Cockroach is a large flightless insect from the forests of Madagascar. It lives under the bark of trees or in leaf litter, feeding on plant matter including leaves and fallen fruit.
Any predator that catches one of these cockroaches is in for a double shock. The legs of this insect are covered in needle sharp spines and the cockroach can make a loud hissing sound. It does this by forcing air out of the breathing holes that runs along the side of its body.
This is one of the largest cockroaches in the world and can reach 8 cm (3 inches).
Although they live in the forest they are attracted by house lights and will sometimes creep through open windows. However they are harmless and will soon leave when disturbed.
The Masagascan Hissing Cockroach is often used in television and films where a large scary looking insect is required, giving this harmless creature an undeserved reputation.