the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

These cockroaches are shiny brown and oval-shaped, with no wings and a single pair of antennae. Males sport large horns, which give them an unusual and impressive appearance.

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having the capacity to move from one place to another.

Ashley Jessee (author), Radford University, Karen Powers (editor, instructor), Radford University.

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication. 

Some states might require you to get a permit before bringing these large cockroaches into your life, so check your city and state laws before bringing the bugs home. Because they don't bite or sting, these cockroaches could make excellent first pets for children, especially those interested in bugs. Just remember, as with all of the pets on this countdown, owning these rather peculiar pets can present some challenges. Make sure you're up for them before diving in.

particles of organic material from dead and decomposing organisms. Detritus is the result of the activity of decomposers (organisms that decompose organic material).

having more than one female as a mate at one time

Some might think this is the grossest pet ever, but many people consider this large, hissing insect their love bug. If you can get past the idea of keeping a cockroach on purpose, you might realize these hissers actually make really good pets. They don't fly or bite, and the hissing sound they make is pretty cool, too.

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Learn to identify this pest with these helpful pictures.

Dr. Subba Reddy PalliDepartment Chair & State EntomologistS-225 Agricultural Science Center NorthLexington, KY 40546-0091859.257.7450entchair@uky.edu

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

A Madagascar hissing cockroach was used by artist Garnet Hertz as the driver of a mobile robotic artwork.[4] They were used in the reality television series Fear Factor. The species also made an appearance in the movie Men in Black in 1997. This was later parodied in the comedy Team America: World Police (2004), where one emerges from Kim Jong-il's body after his death, enters a tiny spaceship, and flies away.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches live on forest floors and beneath rotten logs. Madagascar hissing cockroaches feed on fallen fruit and decaying organic matter and can live as long as five years. Madagascar hissing cockroaches differ from some other cockroach species in that they possesses horns and are wingless.

Hissing cockroaches have a pair of modified spiracles (the tubes insects use for breathing) that they use to produce the hissing sound that inspired their name. They will hiss when disturbed and males hiss when courting females. Sometimes a whole colony will hiss in unison (for reasons not clear to us).

Hissing cockroaches should be fed a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (do not feed head lettuce, stick with romaine and other green leafy types) in combination with dry dog food.

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach even begins its life in an unusual manner. Females create a cocoon-like egg case called an ootheca and carry their eggs (and neonatal nymphs) inside their bodies. They then bear living young—as many as 60 nymph roaches.

Being tropical, hissing cockroaches do best if kept a bit above room temperature (tolerate anywhere from 75-90 F or 24-32 C).

Ready for the lowdown on one of nature’s most beautiful insects?

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is a large, wingless cockroach from Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa. Little is known about its ecology, but this insect probably lives on the forest floor in rotten logs and feeds on fallen fruit. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is a fascinating insect because of its unusual ability to produce sound. However, its unusual appearance and elaborate behavior also contribute to its appeal. 

This insect looks—and sounds—like anything but a run-of-the-mill roach. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of many fascinating animal species to hail from the island of Madagascar.

animals that live only on an island or set of islands.

Hissing cockroaches are omnivores which feed primarily upon vegetables and other decaying organic matter.Despite their large size, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are capable of hiding within incredibly narrow spaces.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach, is an interesting insect because of its appearance, behavior, and mode of communication. This cockroach is easily maintained and reared which makes it an ideal organism to study in the classroom. 

Tiny spiders have such huge brains for their body sizes that the organs can spill into the animals' body cavities, a new study shows.

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are also commonly referred to as hissing cockroaches. Some people refer to them as giant cockroaches. These insects are native to Madagascar and live in forests and other moist, tropical regions.

These roaches need small living spaces with places to hide from light, and sticks to climb. They are excellent climbers and have been known to climb right out of their enclosures. Experts recommend keeping the top couple inches of the enclosures coated with petroleum jelly to inhibit the roaches from escaping. These insects like fresh veggies with any type of dry pellet food that's high in protein -- even dog food will do the trick.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.

" Sorry, we don’t have any for this show. "

The Madagascar hissing cockroach has been known to be featured in Hollywood movies, prominently in Bug (1975) as cockroaches who could set fires by rubbing their legs together and, in Damnation Alley (1977), as post-nuclear-war mutant armor-plated "killer" cockroaches. In Starship Troopers, a movie about a war against an enemy called "The Bugs", a teacher is shown encouraging her students to step on this species as part of a TV propaganda broadcast.

Males also hiss during courtship interactions with females. Again, their behavior is unusual for insects in that strength and sound are used. Mating occurs in an end-to-end position. To achieve this, the male pushes his abdomen under and along the female's body until he engages the end of her abdomen. 

Gwen Pearson, a Texas entomologist, has reared 5 broods of hissing cockroaches using a KenL-Ration Meaty Chunks and rat chow mix. Her roaches won't eat any other type of dog food. She says her roaches like apples and bananas, but don't like spinach or lettuce, although they will eat other greens. She uses a sponge in a petri dish as her water source. 

the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Grants DRL 0089283, DRL 0628151, DUE 0633095, DRL 0918590, and DUE 1122742. Additional support has come from the Marisla Foundation, UM College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Museum of Zoology, and Information and Technology Services.

A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches hiss by exhaling air through breathing holes, a unique trait among insects.