Bob and Stella, our pair of Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa), decided to share some love with this downloadable valentine!
Fun Mating Facts and Observations: The males of this species have horn-like projections on their pronotum (the shield that covers the backs of their heads and delicate connective tissues). They use these horns to ram other males and fight for mating rights and access to females! Bob and Warf, our males, will shove each other all over their cage about once a month in a dominance battle. Bob usually wins as he is a bit larger, but it usually ends peacefully. Bob will hiss loudly to tell everyone he’s the big man on campus and then the boys return to munching on lettuce. We keep our males and females separated most of the year, otherwise we’d have a lot of little roaches to feed and name every month or so. When their respective cages are close we can see the females arch their backs and lift the tips of their abdomens into the air to release pheromones. A couple of minute later, Bob and Warf are glued to the side of their cage nearest the females. We wonder what the roach perfume smells like to the boys?