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"Air Drying", Madagascar giant hissing cockroach, adult female

Description: Healthy solid ootheca (egg case) protruding from the end of the adult female of Madagascar giant hissing cockroach. The direction of the ootheca will be reoriented from vertical to horizontal, and it will be retracted back into the females brood pouch. The ootheca stay inside of the mother Hisser until the eggs hatch and she gives birth to live babies. The reorientation gives the room needed in the brood pouch for the development to take place. ---------- {{{ AIR DRYING EGG CASE? }}}

When the outer shell of the egg case (ootheca) are completely formed inside of her brood pouch, the mother Hisser extrude about the ¾ inch the ootheca (not the entire length of ootheca) outside of her body as if she is “air drying” it. In reality, the outer shell of the ootheca does not require extra air to solidify, nor there is absolutely no need to “dry” it. The healthy extruded ootheca viewed from outside is about ½ inch –long, light yellowish translucent white, two-lined and solid. This behavior of Hisser mother often freaks out uninformed amateur pet insect lovers, who just purchased their first Hissers without homework of studying the biology of this remarkable creature from the jangle (rain forest) of Madagascar near Africa.

It is actually one of the most vulnerable time for the Hisser Mother in natural life to be attacked by her predators. (Needless to say, the most vulnerable time for any hissers is during the molt.) Many Hisser mothers even conduct this process of “air drying” usually at a location, which is away from other cagemates to secure her and her ootheca’s safety. Although it seems she is doing this process very slowly to human eyes, in reality, she is doing it “the fastest as she could”. It is why it takes much less time for her to retract the ootheca inside of her brood pouch (less than half an hour) although it takes sometimes over an hour to protrude the ootheca.

What she is doing is actually a “re-orientation of the direction” of her ootheca. The width of the abdomen of a Hisser is wider than the thickness/height of its body, so, it is much easier for her to store her ootheca inside of her brood pouch in “horizontal” direction, once each egg is formatted in the same hight with proper numbers inside of her blood pouch. Needless to say, for Hisser babies to wiggle out from the each egg of ootheca, it is absolutely necessary for the ootheca to be placed inside of mother Hisser horizontally; otherwise, baby hissers can not come out in orderly fashion if not they can not come out at all from their each egg case.

According to the contemporary professional entomologists who specialize the biology of roaches, this behavior of Hisser mother is actually obtained by them in recent evolutional development. In any cases, the ootheca is protected safely from predators in this way.

On the contrary to this behavior, more primitive roaches such as several species of common pest house roaches found in North America simple drop their “egg capsels”, which babies wiggle out when it matures. The species of pest roaches, which produce the “left alone’ style of “egg capsrls” are Brown-banded cockroach, American cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach. I saw all these roaches except Oriental cockroach here in New York City. I saw the Oriental cockroach in New Orleans. They are not pet roach at all, and I will not get into too many details on these annoying parasites here. For more info, please refer following website:

This “re-orientation of ootheca” by a Hisser mother can be viewed all year long in captive breeding of Hisser tanks. In another words, they are ready to produce their off springs all year long, for you pleasures and/or your pet lizards’ pleasures.

Good luck to you and your pet insects!


All the rights reserved by Takeshi Yamada 2006

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"Air Drying", Madagascar giant hissing cockroach, adult female Post a Comment | Report Photo   
User: Takeshi (see all of Takeshi's photos)
Views: 3206
Date: 03/10/06
Filesize: 31.1k, 350 X 234
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