Zoo Buddy: Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches!

Now that we're in the spooky season, we're meeting some hissing cockroaches from Madagascar in this week's Zoo Buddy segment.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:00 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - It’s spooky season, so we’ll be highlighting “creepy crawly” creatures in our next few Zoo Buddy segments.

Today, we’re meeting some Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches. Lisa Taylor, General Curator at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo, says they look more like beetles than the cockroaches we would see.

“They actually have these little sphericles along the sides of their body that emits an air inside them and that’s what produces the hissing noise that you hear,” says Taylor.

They don’t have wings, but they do have horns on them.

“They are very important for the ecosystem because they live in the rainforests of Madagascar and they are detrivores, which basically means they chew up all the stuff that’s on the ground in the rainforest, re-mix it, and make all this good compost and fertilizer for the trees to keep growing,” explains Taylor.

She says their lifespan is close to five years.

If you want to meet these hissing cockroaches or any other animal at the zoo, they’re open every day of the week from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Their Halloween fundraiser, Boo at the Zoo, is coming up soon. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 29th. Gates open at 10 a.m. and you’ll be able to trick-or-treat at the zoo and dress up in your best costumes. They’ll have food and merchant vendors set up, too. Reach out to the zoo if you want to have a table set up at the event.

Taylor says proceeds from this year’s event are going to something very exciting that she can’t tell us about quite yet.

But, on the topic of new projects, they are working on a sloth encounter exhibit they hope to have finished soon.